WHAT IS THE HOUSING MARKET DOING IN ST AUGUSTINE?

Want to know what the real estate market is doing in St. Johns County Florida?

If you are considering a move to St. Johns County Florida you need to know what the Real Estate market is doing and let me tell you 2020 was a crazy year for Real Estate in general and the 4th Qtr in St. Johns county was no different.

Homes are selling quicker than they are coming on. Historically the 4th quarter is slower due to hurricane season and the holidays but this year didn’t skip a beat with buyers scooping up new listings within 24 hours. In the 4th Quarter St. Johns County saw 768 New Listings, 1336 sold and 494 went under contract and our inventory is still under 1.5 months.

With prices up 10% from a year ago and the low inventory, it is competitive and difficult to find homes. Especially for the first time home buyer. Homes under $250k right now are nowhere to be found, luckily the rates are low so buyers can afford more house but if rates creep up it’ll change things. New construction isn’t necessarily better. Homebuilders are seeing an increase in contracts but a shortage in materials specifically lumber. Last Spring the pandemic shut down several lumber mills and the shortage has delayed the timeline for new homes and has increased prices. Builders are having to compensate for the higher prices of lumber and pass that on to the consumer….(you the buyer).

With the lumber shortage, increased prices, and buyer competition you may find builders are not offering incentives as they once did. These incentives were really helpful to home buyers in lowering the price, of their home, using for upgrades, or paying down closing costs…so this is something to keep in mind if you are looking to do a new construction home.

In the resale market, we are seeing multiple offer situations and houses going under contract on the first day. This is competitive for buyers and you need to have a strategy to make your offer more appealing which likely means overbidding. But with that, there is a likely hood that the house won’t appraise and if it doesn’t you will have to be prepared to bring more money to the table to cover that difference. If you can’t there is likely a backup offer that can. There are a lot of people moving to the area from out of state and the cost of living here is lower than many other areas in the country and that is adding to the competition.As for mortgage rates they rose to 2.79% from 2.65% last week which is a relatively big increase but compared to last year’s rate of 3.65% they are still quite low. Economists predict modest increases in mortgage rates this year and while that’s unlikely to affect this hot housing market, it could make it tougher for potential homebuyers.

We would need a lot of inventory to bring us back to a balanced market which would be 6 months of inventory and I’m not sure when that is going to happen.

If you are planning to make the move to St. Johns county, gets your ducks in row, get yourself pre-qualified, and be ready to act quickly. If you are selling your home and need to buy, have contingencies in place when you go under contract to protect yourself as you will be competing to find a home as well.

If you have any questions or need assistance never hesitate to reach out. My email is [email protected] and my phone number is (904) 747-0183. For more help with new construction or tips to winning multiple offers, check out my next two videos.

If you are buying a home right now, hang in there, you just need to be patient in this market and have a good realtor working on your behalf to make sure you are in front of the competition.

I’ll have new market updates every quarter so be sure to subscribe. I appreciate you tuning in and I’ll catch you on the next one.

About the Author
Kim Devlin is a Realtor with RE/MAX LeadingEdge in beautiful St Augustine Florida. She enjoys sharing real estate tips and local insight on communities and life in St Augustine. Tune in weekly and be sure to subscribe to her monthly newsletter.