The number of closed sales rebounded after falling dramatically in September when Hurricane Irma took people out of the home-buying mood.
A total of 2,181 homes were sold last month in the area, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. That’s a little more than the 200 sold in September and 120 higher than in October 2016.
The median sales price of $205,000 was a $2,900 drop from September and more than $20,000 below the year’s high in July. But it’s $20,000 more than October 2016.
Over the past year, the median selling price for new single family homes has been $292,000, $97,000 higher than existing homes. For condos and townhouses, the difference is far less — $158,900 to $140,000.
Increases were seen across the state.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $235,558, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department, in partnership with local realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in October was $170,000, up 5.2 percent over the year-ago figure. October was the 70th month-in-a-row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year.
National numbers, which run a month behind local ones, also showed increase.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September was $246,800, up 5.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $231,300.
The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index released Tuesday rose 6.2 percent in September from a year earlier, the largest gain since June 2014. In 13 of the 20 cities tracked by the index, yearly price gains in September were faster than in August.
Jacksonville is not one of the 20 cities the survey follows. But in Northeast Florida, houses lasted an average of 64 days before selling, the lowest since 2006. Previously owned homes are selling about 30 days quicker than new homes. Homes in the $150,000-$199,999 category selling the quickest, while those priced at more than $1 million are averaging 129 days.
Condos and townhouses are selling an average of nine days quicker than single-family homes.
Meanwhile, the number of homes on the market continues to fall as it has since mid-2007, when more than 20,000 were for sale in the area. At 7,915 last month, it’s now the lowest it’s been since 2005.
The shortage of homes is true across the county. Americans are remaining in their homes longer, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Many are reluctant to sell because there are so few other homes to buy.
Builders are responding to the pent-up demand by building more houses. The construction of new homes jumped nearly 14 percent nationally in October to the fastest pace in a year. But home builders are struggling to find the workers and land they need to ramp up construction more quickly.
“The past two months have shown promising signs of life from builders,” Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate data provider Zillow, told The Associated Press. “But it’s going to take a lot more than two good months to fully erase the housing deficit we’re facing after years of underbuilding.”
Roger Bull: (904) 359-4296
This report contains material from The Associated Press.