(Jacksonville, FL –September 9, 2013) While new housing activity has been heating up in many Florida markets for the past two years, Jacksonville’s housing market had slow growth or was flat until the past couple of quarters. This is according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.
In the Jacksonville Market (Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties), 1,368 single-family units were started in 2Q13. This represents an increase of 44.2% compared to last year’s rate of 949 units. Single-family quarterly closings totaled 1,229 units which is 37.3% higher than the 895 closings in the same quarter last year. The annual closings rate (past 4 quarters) totaled 3,968 units, which is 26.6% above the rate of 3,135 units per year recorded a year ago. “Since builders have a significant backlog of new sale contracts, we expect continued growth in starts and closings over the next few quarters, at least,” said Crocco.
Total single-family inventory, comprised of units under construction, finished vacant units and models, equaled 2,492 units on the ground at the end of the second quarter, a 7.5 months of supply. Overall, housing inventories increased by 30.3% compared to last year. Compared to last year, under construction inventory rose 43.9%, or 454 units to 1,488. Finished vacant inventory increased by 16.6% from 686 units last year to 800 this year. Model home inventory is up 12 units from last year to 204 total models. Builders in this market are closing 19.5 homes per year per model compared to 16.3 last year. “Increases in housing inventory are mostly in the under construction category, indicating strong end user demand. We anticipate low finished inventory levels in the near term given the sales contract backlogs at most builders,” said Crocco.
This quarter, 137 lots were delivered to the Jacksonville market, a 54.9% decline from 304 lots delivered in the same quarter last year. Vacant developed lot inventory stands at 18,052 lots, a decrease of 12.8% compared to 20,704 lots last year. Based upon the annual starts rate, this lot inventory represents 47.6 months of supply, a decrease of 29.7 months from last year. “Lot development is picking up in the “A” and “B” locations and we anticipate increased development activity in the coming quarters. The vacant developed lot ratio will continue to decline nicely and now shows under 4 years supply overall, down from almost 8 years of lot inventory, just a year ago,” said Crocco.
In the Jacksonville MSA, the number of jobs has increased by 15,500 jobs over the 12 months through May 2013, representing an increase of 2.6%. The Professional & Business Services sector (8,600 or 9.4%), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (3,800 or 3%), Leisure & Hospitality (2,400 or 6.9%), Education & Health (2,500 or 3.4%), and Construction (1,600 or 5.9%) sectors recorded significant gains over the past year. “None of the sectors exhibited a decline or addition of 1,000 jobs or more over the past year,” said Anthony Crocco, Regional Director of the Metrostudy’s Jacksonville Market.
“Our forecast is for strong activity through year end, at least, with builders working to hang on to margins in an environment of cost increases. At the same time, builders are looking hard at lot and land positions to secure the future lots needed to grow their respective businesses,” said Crocco.
For information contact:
anthony crocco @ 407.875.9090 x820