Winter turns to spring in Northeast Florida housing market


When it comes to the Northeast Florida housing market, February’s market statistics looked more like the spring buying season than winter. Closed sales were up, the median sales price was up, and the list prices received were up — more typical of the spring shopping season than the tail end of winter. Coupled with the highest inventory levels in many years, buyers have many more choices while sellers are still getting good offers.

Specifically, the region’s median sales price came in at $385,000 in February, 2.8% more than the previous month. Closed sales climbed 31% to 1,491, and new listings escalated to 3,359, a 23% increase. The list price received inched up 0.2% to 97% and closed over list price was 10.8%, which is 2% more than the month before. Active inventory rose 22.2% to 6,204 homes, and houses did not linger, with the days on the market falling 31% to a median of 35 days.

“As anticipated the market strengthened considerably in February from the holiday lull, with a sharp increase in the median price for Duval County of almost 9% and almost 3% for the total metro area from January,” said 2024 NEFAR President Rory Dubin. “In fact, despite the median increase in price, Northeast Florida experienced a 30% increase in closings over last month. New listings were up over 20% from January as was inventory. All of this points to a rebounding market, in part due to the cuts in the interest rates. Northeast Florida remains an attractive destination for families, retirees, investors and corporate relocations as well as commercial properties due to our unmatched infrastructure that includes an international port and airport, railway system and excellent roads.”

With the market revving up this spring, Northeast Florida still is less affordable for some buyers than it used to be. The Home Affordability Index registered 68, a nearly 3% drop from January, which was indicative of slightly higher home prices.

The Home Affordability Index measures housing affordability for the region. In other words, it measures whether a typical family earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a typical home, based on current interest rates, median income and median home prices.  A higher number means greater affordability. This index measures affordability factors for all homebuyers making a 20% downpayment. An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income family has the exact amount of income needed to purchase a median-priced existing home. An index value over 100 means that the family has more than enough income, while a value below 100 means that a family doesn't have enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan. 

“The stabilizing market and increasing inventory necessitates the fact that sellers should use Realtors to optimize marketing and proper placement in a rapidly changing market in the early part of the new year. Similarly, buyers will want to use their Realtors to navigate the increasing inventory to timely make offers with pricing changing monthly, and even differences from neighborhood to neighborhood,” Dubin said.

In St. Johns County, February 2024 median prices fell 3.7% to $499,995 for single-family homes. The median days on the market dropped 48.5% to 34. Month-to-month, closed sales rose 35% to 382, pending sales dropped 11.4% to 379, and new listings climbed 26.4% to 957. Active inventory increased 23.2% to 1,888 homes, a 4.9-month supply. The Home Affordability Index inched up, 2% to 52, indicating that it is still very expensive to live in St. Johns County.

In Duval County, the February 2024 median price of single-family housing was $348,025, an 8.8% increase from January 2024. The median days on the market in February dropped to 33, a 26.7% reduction from the month before. Month-to-month closed sales rose 21.7% to 736, pending sales dropped 24.5% to 632, and new listings skyrocketed 21.5% to 1,640. Active inventory for the county climbed 24.9% to 2,864 homes, a 3.9-month supply. In February, the Home Affordability Index fell 8.5%, to 75.