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Jacksonville Real Estate News

June Reports Show Jacksonville New Home Prices Rising

According to the latest report from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors for June, the number of homes sold in Jacksonville dropped on a month-over-month basis, but that didn’t keep prices from continuing to rise.

The median sales price was the highest since 2009 at $158,000 with the average sales price the highest since late 2008 at $204,868. However, Jacksonville new homes are still bringing in significantly more money. In fact, the median sales price for new single family homes was $239,127, which is a $100,000 increase over the sales price for existing homes. New townhomes also experience a similar gap, selling for $87,000 more on average than existing townhomes.

Other positive indicators for the Jacksonville real estate market include the fewest days on market since January 2007 at 82 days, an inventory decrease to 7,982 home and increases in pending and closed sales on a year-over-year basis.

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors is the largest trade/professional organization in northeast Florida with more than 5,000 Realtors and industry partners in Duval, Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

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Featured Jacksonville Real Estate

New Service Leads to Expedited Jacksonville Real Estate Roofing Repairs

Jacksonville new home roofsGood news for Jacksonville real estate residents who need help when it comes to repairing their roof, Roof Links Inc. is now offering same day repair assessments for homeowners and business owners. The new business offering is aimed at helping citizens in northern Florida obtain roofing services much quicker during and after the hurricane season.

Roof Link Inc. contractors are all licensed in the state to perform both residential and commercial roofing replacement and repair services, and same day assessments can now be submitted online at www.roofingjacksonvilleflorida.com. The service helps skilled contractors to arrive faster to assess the damage in order to expedite these services.

For many, the period of time it takes between when damage happens and when it is assessed can be a waiting game. Many insurance companies don’t have the manpower to respond as quickly as many homeowners and business owners would like. For those without insurance, fixing or repairing their roof as soon as possible is generally a top priority.

Thanks to this new offering, Jacksonville new home residents will be able to get back to staying dry all year long sooner!

For more information, please visit the Roof Link website.

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Featured Jacksonville Real Estate News

Challenges Ahead for Downtown Jacksonville Apartment Growth

downtown jacksonville real estateMany beautifully constructed, historic building pepper the streets of downtown Jacksonville, and at a time when the real estate market is starting to improve, many builders are considering these prime Jacksonville real estate opportunities.

One of the most sought-after buildings currently is the former public defender’s, the Groover Stewart Building at 25 Market St. Several general contractors have laid out plans to turn this building which features exposed brick walls and copious amounts of natural lighting into apartments.

However, finding investors for this and other similar projects is a challenge. Many investors aren’t looking for smaller scale projects that would reap less returns in a still somewhat shaky market.

Building the popular garden-style apartments have been flooding the Southside with new multifamily opportunities is nearly impossible in an urban environment, and high-rise condo costs aren’t justifiable. This means that only the rehabilitation of old office buildings remains as a valid opportunity to bring more residents into the downtown area.

For more information and updates on the trials of downtown apartment living, which is being reported by the Jacksonville Business Journal, visit their website.

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Jacksonville Real Estate News

Jacksonville Real Estate Still Plagued by Foreclosures

Jacksonville real estate foreclosuresEven as foreclosure filings across the country continue to decrease, some areas across the nation are still feeling the pressure. Jacksonville specifically is considered to be one of the top 20 cities with the highest foreclosure rates nationally for August.

In Jacksonville, one in every 299 homes received a foreclosure filing during the month of August. The total number of properties with foreclosures is slightly over 2,000. August’s numbers are a slight set back from July, but are a significant increase from this time last year.

Jacksonville real estate residents can still take comfort in the fact that overall, things seem to be improving in the foreclosure market.  Additionally, the city’s rate of foreclosure and number of foreclosures it not as high as other big cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix. Another positive sign for the housing market was that the number of foreclosure starts, or the pace at which mortgages enter the foreclosure process, was down for the first time in three months.

For more information on which other metros made the top foreclosure list for August, check out RealtyTrac‘s latest foreclosure report.

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Jacksonville Real Estate News

Jacksonville Makes List of Improving Housing Markets

jacksonville makes list of improving marketsJacksonville made the list of the improving housing markets for the first time in September according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) released today. 99 total cities made the list this month, which was an increase from 80 in August.

The index aims to identify metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits based on U.S. Census Bureau data, employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and housing prices from Freddie Mac for at least six months. Jacksonville real estate has seen 1.7 percent growth in permits, 1.9 percent growth in employment and .2 percent growth in prices over the last six months.

“The number of improving housing markets grew by 19 in September as 68 metros retained their spots, 31 new metros were added and just 12 dropped off the list,” noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This solid growth is an encouraging sign that housing continues on a slow but steady recovery path that is gradually advancing from one local market to the next.”

“Combined with recent positive reports on builder confidence, housing starts and new-home sales, the September IMI adds to the growing consensus that housing is finally moving in the right direction, which in turn is spurring more potential buyers to get off the fence,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American Title Insurance Company.

A complete list of all 99 areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in September is available at www.nahb.org/imi.

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Jacksonville Real Estate News

Four Florida Cities that are Cheaper To Buy than to Rent

jacksonville real estateHow do you save money on rent? Buy a house! According to The Huffington Post, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida were amongst the 12 cities that were cheaper to buy a house instead of renting.

According to Business Insider’s analysis of a recent report by HotPads, a real estate search engine, purchasing a home is far cheaper than renting in 12 U.S. cities. The latest report shows that the rental price for a two bedroom unit jumped 14.4 percent in the spring compared to last year. Business Insider ranked the 12 cities with the lowest rent to buy ratio for two-bedroom homes out of 45 major U.S. metropolises.

Florida residents will be pleased to know that Orlando made second, St. Petersburg made third and Jacksonville and Tampa made fifth and sixth on the list.

Buying a house is cheaper than renting in 98 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas according to Trulia. Also, nationwide renting costs 15 percent more than home ownership at the end of last year according to an analysis by Deutsche Bank. Historically, renting a home rather than owning one has been 10 percent cheaper, but housing prices continue to decrease making the rental market become more competitive. Now affordable rent is hard to come by.

However, buying a house is still just as expensive as it was in 2007 because banks now are requiring larger down payments, according to a recent study by Andrew Davidson and Alexander Levin of Andrew Davidson & Co., a financial research firm.

For more of a complete list of cities, visit the website. For more Florida real estate news, check out our site.

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Events Featured Jacksonville Real Estate News

Downtown Jacksonville Experiencing Population Growth

istockLooking to buy or rent in a beautiful, urban location? Downtown Jacksonville offers historic beauty, culture and convenience all with riverfront views and with 2,365 homes in residential communities.

According to The Florida Times-Union, Downtown Vision, a non-profit organization dedicated to building and maintaining a healthy downtown Jacksonville community, reported that 89 percent of the 890 condos in downtown Jacksonville have been sold by their original developer in 2012. Additionally, by the end of 2011, 3,266 people were living in the downtown area. This means that 91 percent of downtown’s 651 residential rental units were occupied.

In addition to great living options, downtown Jacksonville offers the perfect urban lifestyle of historic architecture, modern amenities, eclectic events, concerts, dining and shopping options for the many residents.

Here’s a look at a few upcoming events:

Downtown Jacksonville continues its Summer Movie Classics with the showing of Guys and Dolls (1955) at the Florida Theatre on Sunday, July 1 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The price of admission is $7.50. For more information, visit the Florida Theatre website.

Want some summer tunes? Enjoy Reggae on the River at The Jacksonville Landing on Sunday, July 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be live music in the courtyard featuring Chillakaya with specials, giveaways and vendor expos.

Celebrate America’s freedom with the First Wednesday Art Walk “Americana’ on Wednesday, July 4 at 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hemming Plaza. Enjoy the free, self-guided tour that combines astounding visual and live art, engaging events and more celebrating the Fourth of July.

For more information on living downtown, visit downtown Jacksonville’s website.  Also, explore our website for all of the latest Jacksonville real estate news.

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Jacksonville Real Estate News

Green is the New…Pain Killer?!

Green just might be the most popular color in today’s society. We have access to so many environmentally-friendly products and options such as green cars, green homes and even green food.

Even though you might get sick of hearing all about the new green products and services, green is here to stay. Why? Having a green lifestyle might save you stress and pain. Green is about more than saving the environment. Actually living or working in a green space can increase your work productivity, reduce your stress and lessen the number and the intensity of headaches you get.

Roger Ulrich, PhD, a professor of architecture and landscape architecture at Texas A&M University, conducted a study that shows that following surgery, patients recover faster and require less pain medication if they are able to view tress, as opposed to a curtain or a brick wall outside their window.

This concept is called Biophilic Design, and it analyzes the effects of including nature within architecture. This is not new news. Although not all environments allow for a large window or a tree, the concept of Biophilic Design goes beyond windows. Consider an office in the center of a tight building with no windows, fluorescent lighting and drab walls. Your headache and added stress is killing you, so improve your mood and your health by bringing nature into the office space by adding a color, such as PPG Porter Paint’s “Olive Sprig 410-4.” Take it a step further by using green furniture with true wood grains, or add a house plant or pictures of natural settings to lower your stress levels.

Visit the PPG Porter Paints website for more design and home ideas. Also, visit our website for more design trends, and the latest Jacksonville real estate news.

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Jacksonville Real Estate News

Tips for National Hurricane Preparedness Week

hurricane damageAre you prepared for hurricane season? Hurricane season begins on June 1, and home owners need to be aware of the precautions they can take to protect their home and their family.

According to the annual Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Forecast, the 2012 storm season could consist of 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of which may be a category 3 or higher.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a Hazardous Weather Release Prevention and Reporting alert to prepare for hurricane season. The alert serves as a reminder certain related regulations to facility operators.

The onset of a hurricane is predictable, and allows for early precautions and preparations to lessen its effect on a facility, unlike some natural disasters.

Homeowners should make the necessary precautions now. What does your insurance cover or not cover in times of a disaster? National Hurricane Preparedness Week is going on right now, and lasts from May 27 to June 2. This is a great time to review your insurance coverage.

There are a few other ways that you can prepare for a disaster in your home:

  1. Take Inventory—Take photos or videos to support your claim that you may need to file later. Download your free home inventory application, myHome Scr.APP.book, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  2. Replacement Costs—Determine if your home is insured to its full replacement cost.
  3. Protect Policy Information—Keep your policy information in a waterproof, fireproof safe or off-site location.
  4. Prepared for a Flood?—Consider purchasing flood insurance. Visit www.FloodSmart.gov or call 888-379-9531.

See more ways you can secure your home during hurricane season at http://www.epa.gov/region4/r4_hurricanereleases.html.

Visit http://www.epa.gov/naturalevents/ in the case of a hazardous weather incident near your piece of Jacksonville real estate.

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Featured Jacksonville Real Estate News

Florida Leasing Options Make Owning Your Own Home Easy

i stock photoRenters now have the chance to own their own home without the traditional bank approval process. Rest Easy Home Solutions is now offering lease options for Florida renters. The company’s Jacksonville website provides a secure online application to begin the preliminary approval process for obtaining a lease on properties that are pre-owned by Rest Easy Home Solutions and its subsidiaries.

With an estimate of 33 percent or higher recent loss in home values, many people are renting rather than buying homes. However, a lease option is a potential offer to put money down upon signing a home lease.

Additionally, according to a recent Bloomberg report, 60 percent of the U.S. housing market is now owned by banks and mortgage subsidiaries. This does not include homeowners that have paid off their mortgage or that have gone through the foreclosure process.

There can be many complications to owning your own home like credit debt, previous foreclosures and job loss. National averages of an initial down payment for a home purchase are between 20 and 30 percent. Before buying, check your debt to credit ratio. Don’t fret if you have a bad credit score, one of the benefits of a lease option is that you can increase your credit score.

About Rest Easy Home Solution
Real estate professionals and not realtors started Rest Easy Home Solutions to help renters find a way out of the rental cycle. Since buying and offering their first home in 2007, this team of real estate experts has expanded in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Homes in their inventory include single family homes, multi family homes and duplexes that are available for immediate lease option. By simplifying the traditional application process, Rest Easy Home Solutions is helping to make the dream of owning a home a reality for many renters who do not meet traditional home loan approval requirements.

For more on Jacksonville real estate, be sure to check out Jacksonville Real Estate Forum.