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Home prices rise again in Jacksonville. Where will this end?

House sold.jpg
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP
The pace of home sales in Florida continues to push prices higher.

It'll cost you 22% more to buy a house in Greater Jacksonville than it did last year, according to new data from the Florida Realtors.

Houses on average are selling for at least the listed price, sometimes in a matter of days and often for cash, with few indications that the frenzy is ending.

The median sales price in Jacksonville rose to $354,108 in November, the Realtors association reported. A total of 2,479 houses sold last month, 11% more than November 2020.

Jacksonville remains one of the cheaper places to buy a home among Florida's big cities, however. The median price in Naples was $659,000. South Florida homes sold for a median price of $500,000. Sarasota was $432,625; Orlando, $380,000; and Tampa Bay, $354,995.

Jacksonville also was slightly cheaper than the state as a whole, which recorded a median sales price of $364,900

The demand for homes and pace of sales has fueled prices all year, said Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. "However, if mortgage rates begin to increase more in the coming months, as analysts expect, that could ease prices,” she said.

Statewide, closed sales have declined for the past five months, reflecting, in part, the shortage of homes on the market. A total of 34,448 houses were for sale in November — 31% less than last year.

"It is primarily the huge rate of sales, and not a lack of new listings coming on to the market, that have kept inventories so low," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor.

In fact, almost 4% more single-family homes have been listed for sale in 2021 than by this time in 2019, before the pandemic. "These homes are simply selling so quickly that many potential buyers never have a chance to consider them," O'Connor said.

Houses in general are selling for at least the listed price, which has been true all year. Florida homes went under contract in a median time of 11 days in November, compared with 19 days the year before, the Realtors said.

Thirty-one percent of the deals last month were made in cash, 36% higher than last year.

In many cases, out-of-state buyers have flocked to Florida with cash, making it more difficult for local people to land a home.

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service and was recognized as a Pulitzer finalist for breaking news. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida, including positions at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Tampa Bay Times and the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, where he directed regional coverage and later business news. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, where he was editor of the daily student newspaper. You can reach Randy at rroguski@wjct.org or on Twitter, @rroguski.