Homebuyers waiting as mortgage rates chill market
Homebuyers in Northeast Florida seem content to stand by as the busy selling season begins, an indication of how much the housing market has cooled.
More homes are available to buy, but they're a little less affordable and they're sitting on the market longer than they were last year, according to the latest data from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.
The number of sales that closed in April was down 19% from the month before and 25% from the torrid market of 2022. Homes remained on the market a median of 36 days — 10% less than in March but twice as long as last year.
Many homeowners with low-interest mortgages have decided to stay put, wait and see what the future holds for mortgage rates, the Realtors association said. "Meanwhile buyers have been dismayed to discover that, although they may have a better selection of single-family homes on the market due to increased inventory, prices were also slightly higher in April."
The median sales price in Northeast Florida rose about 3% in April, to $370,000. The home affordability index — a measure of whether the average family can afford a typical home — dropped slightly, meaning the average home was less affordable.
“Just like the seasons the market has changed,” Diana Galavis, president of the Realtors association, said in a news release. “The fluctuating interest rate has put some buyers and sellers on pause; however, there are still buyers who are choosing homeownership. This is reflected in a low month's supply of inventory, which has contributed to moving the median sales price up.”
Fewer people listed their homes for sale in April, the Realtors association said, but — because of decreased sales — more homes were available. The inventory increased 5.5% from March and 121% from a year ago, when homes were extremely difficult to find.