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Florida home sales up, First Coast enjoys gains too

5:21 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Homes sales across the state are up by nearly 20 percent, according to the statewide association Florida Realtors.

The yearly gain in sales also had the median price of a Florida home jumping to $171,000.

Here on the First Coast, closings were up 20 percent compared with last May and the median price of local home went up by the same amount. The median price is now $158,500.

Local realtors say it boils down to supply and demand, with the current inventory being a four-month supply, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

Bob Burke is a local realtor with REMAX who said the fewer number of homes available is resulting in increased prices.

"Probably six out of the last eight properties I sold before listed, then sold the same day," Burke said.

Reporter: "Sold the same day, multiple offers?"

"In some cases, multiple offers. Demand is very high," said Burke.

What has also changed is the mortgage interest rate that has inched up in the past month.

"We've been enjoying 3.5 percent, 3 percent interest rates for quite a while now. I think the party is over," said Marshall Gunn Jr., a local financial planner.

Gunn said rates are now topping 4 percent, with the real question being not how high they go, but how fast they go up. Gunn believes eventually the rates will settle at what he calls "equilibrium" somewhere around 7%.

Another sign viewed as a positive in the locally is the number of lender-owned properties for sale. In May, that dropped to one-in-three being lender owned.       

First Coast News

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