Home value appreciation continued to break records nationwide in May, online real estate company Zillow said on Wednesday. In the Jacksonville metro area, home values shot up 13.7%, year over year, to a median price of $271,909.
Part of the housing frenzy continues to be driven by mortgage interest rates that are close to all-time lows. Lenders who advertise on Zillow began May with an average rate of 2.69%, which dropped to a near-record low of 2.63% on a couple of days in early May.
And Redfin reported that 34.4% of the Jacksonville housing inventory listed on its website faced bidding wars in May. However, that’s down from 46.2% of Jacksonville's Redfin listings that saw bidding wars for in March.
While Jacksonville’s bidding war numbers may be eye-popping for longtime residents, on a national level, Redfin reported much higher levels of competition. In May, 70.4% of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition, down from 73.6% in April.
Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said competition for homes is likely starting to level off, and he speculates that the peak may have already been hit. "The housing market was going 100 miles per hour and now it's down to 80," he said. Redfin said competition for homes typically tapers off in the early summer following the spring homebuying season anyway.
Another reason for the slight cooling in competition: Zillow said housing inventory is finally showing signs of recovery nationalwide after nearly a year of steady decline. May's 3.9% month-over-month inventory gain is the first uptick since July 2020.
Zillow also said the average monthly rent in the Jacksonville area jumped to $1,486 in May, up 13.2%. Housing and rental trends vary between data sources, though. According to Realtor.com, Jacksonville-area May rents averaged $1,260, up 9.6% from a year ago. Realtor.com also said the U.S. median rental price was $1,527 in May, the highest it had been in two years, surpassing pre-pandemic growth.