First Coast housing inventory pushes home prices to historic levels

By Drew Dixon
April 16, 2021

Average home prices reached $300k for the first time last year, and they’re still going up.

The seller’s market is ruling ever mightier in the First Coast housing market as March figures show there are fewer homes for sale, pushing average prices ever steeper, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

There were 3,782 homes for sale on the First Coast in March, down from 3,931 in February.

More striking is the change in inventory from a year ago. In March 2020, there were 8,375 homes for sale across Northeast Florida. Last month’s inventory represents a 60% drop in the number of homes on the market in the past year.

NEFAR officials said as the coronavirus pandemic set in, it created an unexpected run on home purchases because many people in northern states realized they could now work remotely, no matter where their homes were located. As a result, many workers from those northern states started purchasing homes in Florida, and many targeted Northeast Florida because it lacks the over population other areas of the state are experiencing.

Home inventory steadily decreased on the First Coast throughout 2020 and into 2021. But as the supply dwindled, it became more pricey to buy a home in Northeast Florida.

The average price for a house exceeded $300,000 for the first time in First Coast history in 2020. That figure has not dipped below that point this year and the March average prices showed a substantial increase.

Home prices jumped more than $20,000 in March ending at $344,643. The average price for a home in January was $318,049. While that’s a notable increase both since the beginning of the year and month over month, it’s an 20% increase from the same time last year.

“The strong seller’s market continues into the spring home buying season,” said NEFAR President Missi Howell. “Buyers, competing with primary, second home, and investment buyers are finding walls at every turn, with almost 100% of list price being paid and just under 29% of buyers paying more than the list price.”

Howell cautioned anyone hoping to enter the home-buying market on the First Coast likely won’t see prices coming down any time soon.

“The affordability of Northeast Florida housing, both for purchasing and renting, is being further pressured as evidenced by the decreased housing affordability index,” said Howell.

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