The market in Northeast Florida continues to tighten with more qualified buyers flocking to the area, and not enough inventory to meet the demand.
In St. Johns County, the second fastest growing county in the country, sales were up 20% last year. Builders are taking advantage of the demand with over 10,000 new home permits for 2021, and they are selling new inventory as fast as they can build.
Sellers are watching their equity rise, and staying put.
With the demand high and many new community projects online, there’s no reason to expect a slowdown in the near future.
In fact, Chris Shee of MasterCraft Builder Group in St. Johns County says there is a huge amount of pent-up demand that suggests robust building will — and should — continue for a while.
“I recently engaged an economist to do an economic study for me related to St. Johns County and the whole Northeast Florida MSA,” Shee said in an email to The St. Augustine Record. “One of the shocking results was that while we have 55,000-60,000 ‘lots’ in St. Johns County that are either developed, permitted to be developed, or entitled (has zoning), the anticipated demand for the next 20 years is 80,000 homes.
For the buyer looking to beat the market, you have to be ready with cash, or a solid pre-approval and watch new listings every day. Competitively priced homes often sell in hours or days rather than weeks or months which is very frustrating to a hesitant buyer. The more exact your criteria, the better you will fare.
Be realistic. A sellers market like this is not the time to look for bargains, however, a good buyer's agent (like me) will often look for houses that were originally overpriced. Those are the homes that sit - and sometimes the seller has rejected several lower offers and will get worn down. A winning strategy combines frank communication between buyer and seller agents to find the magic number that will get the deal done.