Jacksonville, Florida's average new-home sales rate is still notably higher than the same month of pre-pandemic 2019 and moderately lower than the same month of 2021, showing how new-home sales have far exceeded expectations this year.
Annual starts have continued to decrease, while annual closings have remained steady. An important indicator to watch for Jacksonville is its quick move-in (QMI) inventory. Among major U.S. markets, Jacksonville has experienced the most growth in QMls compared with the same period in 2019.
Most of these homes are in the more affordable, drive-until-you-qualify submarkets that target entry-level buyers.
Resale listings are still 40% below 2019 levels. The market also ranks seventh nationally on Zonda's latest Baby Chaser Index, indicating strong attraction of millennials and their baby boomer parents. In addition, it has ranked in the top 10 metros on the Baby Chaser Index in the last four years.
At 29.8%, it had the third-highest share of investor purchases in the United States at the height of the market. Any potential offloading of investor properties could be inventory that decreases builders' advantage, as these sellers are unlikely to become buyers.
Quarterly housing starts decreased 24.3% from a year ago, while the number of available vacant developed lots sits at 11,667, up 30.3% over the same quarter last year. In terms of supply/demand balance, the market is 2.86% undersupplied.
New-home sales in the Jacksonville metropolitan area decreased 20.5% year over year at an annualized rate of 7,799 units in August. Over the past 12 months, 1,502 of sales were attached units, and 6,297 were detached. Existing-home closings for the 12 months ending in July posted a year-over-year decline of 35.5% to an annualized rate of 31,255 units.
The average list price for a new detached home in the Jacksonville metro decreased 1.7% from 2022 to $461,383 in September, while the average list price for a new attached home increased 4.9% over the same period to $347,350. Homes priced under $250,000 experienced the most closing activity over the past year. The new-home affordability ratio for a detached house reached 27.4% in July.
TotaI nonfarm employment in the Jacksonville metro increased 4.5% from last year to 808,000 payrolls in July, with approximately 5,200 more jobs compared with the previous month. The local unemployment rate decreased to 2.7% in July compared with 2.8% in the prior month. July's jobless rate remained flat year over year at 2.7%. Zonda forecasts the region's unemployment rate will finish the year at 2.5%.
The current population of the Jacksonville metropolitan area is approximately 1,697,020 people and is projected to increase by 1% this year. There are about 696,520 households in the region, which is up 0.7% year over year. Forecasts show that household formation is expected to increase by an annual growth rate of 7.8% for 2028. Incomes rose by 3.5% from the previous year to $71,936.
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