Duval County and Clay County Florida Real Estate Topics

January 21st, 2016 9:16 AM
Over 300 non-distressed, 2015 sales on Fleming Island, were recently analyzed.  I used those between $150,000 to $500,000 to eliminate outiers and concentrated on those in zip code 32003, actually on Fleming Island.  

A scatter chart showing 2015 sale trends illustrates a relatively flat market.  The median sale price for this sample was $247,000, with a median living area of 2,308 SF, 15 year median age, and median days on market was 46.

Eagle Harbor sale prices were nearly flat over the last year, while Fleming Island Plantation declined. Pace Island was mostly unchanged, and the other Fleming Island sale prices were up over the last 12 months.




Posted by Scott A. Austin on January 21st, 2016 9:16 AMLeave a Comment

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While recently on inspection I noticed a loud noise near the air compressor. A small snake was stuck and the fan was hitting him.  I told the owner about it and he said he noticed the loud noise last night and found the snake just before I got there for my appraisal inspection. 

You just never know what you will see in the real estate business.   

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Posted by Scott A. Austin on July 11th, 2014 1:03 PMLeave a Comment

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May 26th, 2014 10:54 AM
Me·mo·ri·al Day
  1. a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
  2. Source:  Google Search

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Posted by Scott A. Austin on May 26th, 2014 10:54 AMLeave a Comment

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I recently reviewed MLS sales on Fleming Island from mid-April 2013 to the same period in 2014 and divided the sales into four groups: Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island Plantation (FIP), Pace Island, and other, which includes all sales that are not in one of the three communities mentioned earlier.  The search focused on non-distressed, detached sales and those not backing to a navigable waterway. 

The chart below illustrates the median sale price and living area for each group and shows that Eagle Harbor continues to lead Fleming Island in terms of median sale price. 

Eagle Harbor also dominated with the number of closed sales at 110; FIP 48; Pace Island 20; and other 78. 


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Posted by Scott A. Austin on May 14th, 2014 5:25 PMLeave a Comment

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Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) produces a monthly market report and the most recent month is March 2014.   You can review that report in it's entirety here:  http://www.nefar.com/filebin/pdbdb/33/838_33.pdf.

There are many pages in this report, but Fleming Island statistics are on page 31.  The year to date trend from January 2014-March 2014 shows the median sale price increased 24.3% ($200,000 to $248,500), compared to the same period last year.  The number of new listings is up 20.2% (178 to 214) compared to the same period last year, while the number of closed sales fell 6.9% (101 to 94). 

The NEFAR report illustrates a trend experienced across the country.  Sale prices and number of listings are increasing while absorption, or number of closed sales is declining.  This is particularly interesting because sales usually  increase in March and April. 

The market is behaving differently this year.  Some suggest the slow start was due to unusually cold weather while others indicate the slight increase in the interests rates is to blame.  Interest rates, however, are around 4.5 percent, up just over one percentage point since March 2013.   

Absorption and inventory levels have become two very important criteria to watch in 2014 as sellers enter the market with higher expectations. Six months of supply (listings) is generally considered a balanced market. 

During the period from April to October 2013 the inventory level was less than two months supply with 40 active listings and about 25.83 units sold per month (40/25.83=1.55 months supply).  From October 2013 to January 2014 it was up to 3.9 months supply as inventory increased and absorption declined (67 listings/17 average monthly absorption = 3.94 months supply).  Over the last 90 days the supply increased to 6.86 months and resulted from an increase in the number of listings and a decline in average absorption (112 listings/16.33 absorption = 6.86 months supply).    


The chart above shows trends over the last 12 months for non-distressed, detached homes in Fleming Island that are not fronting a navigable water way like the St. Johns River, Drs. Lake, creeks, or canals. 

My next post will discuss the Fleming Island data in a little more detail by analyzing Eagle Harbor, Pace Island, Fleming Island Plantation and all others separately. Eagle Harbor accounted for over 40% of the sales and had the highest median price per square foot over the last 12 months.     

nefar market report 3-2014.pdf  



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Posted by Scott A. Austin on April 28th, 2014 9:32 AMLeave a Comment

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There are orange signs in front of wooded lots on Town Center Boulevard, near the new Navy Federal Credit Union, and along the east side of US 17 between Bald Eagle and Hibernia. 

The signs are part of a public notice required by Clay County Planning Department to alert local residents of a zoning change request for the property.  In this case, East West Partners, the developer of Eagle Harbor, is seeking to change the allowable uses of the property to include residential.  The large parcel on Town Center is currently zoned for light industrial, consistent with the flex buildings across the street and adjacent to the library.  Those along US 17 are currently slated for office use.  Fleming Island already has many vacant commercial buildings and land and it is not likely that demand will increase in the foreseeable future to absorb the current inventory.   

East West is seeking to change the zoning to allow residential.  Since residential lots are mostly absorbed, the demand for new homes in Fleming Island could be relatively strong.   

The link to the 43-page document is listed below if anyone is interested in getting more detailed information.  The document includes proposed plats for each parcel. 


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Posted by Scott A. Austin on April 24th, 2014 1:22 PMLeave a Comment

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The last post focused on analyzing market trends in Fleming Island Plantation (FIP), west of US 17.  We looked at how the annualized, average sale price changed based on the data used for the analysis.  We compared detached, attached, and new construction.  It is also important to understand how distressed inventory impacts a market.    

Northeast Florida MLS provides three ways to segregate the distressed and non-distressed activity, so it is a little difficult to determine the exact number of distressed units.  We can usually account for most with only a few modified searches. 

The following chart illustrates the importance of understanding how distressed units impact a market.  The blue columns represent the median sale price for each group of detached sales in Fleming Island Plantation.  The red line represents the median price per square foot for each group. 

The first column is all existing detached homes in FIP, column two is non-distressed activity, column three is bank-owned sales (REO) and Column four is short sales. 

The median sale price is usually the first statistic I review for each group, but as column four illustrates, it can be misleading.  If only the median sale price was used, a reader might conclude that short sales are performing better than non-distressed sales.

Digging a little deeper into the data we find that the short sales represented a relatively small number of the total sales (4)  and the average living area of the short sales was over 3,000 SF, compared to around 2,450 SF for REO, and about 2,630 SF for non-distressed sales. 

Using the median price per square foot, we see that non-distressed sales performed better and the REO and short sales sold over $10 per square foot lower.  

Separating new construction from existing sales is often helpful as well, but there is only one new development currently underway in FIP and only a few closed sales at this time. 

A large developer is seeking a zoning change on some vacant land around Fleming Island and if they are successful, we could see more residential rooftops in the near future.  More on that subject next time. 

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Posted by Scott A. Austin on April 19th, 2014 1:21 PMLeave a Comment

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April 16th, 2014 9:49 AM

In a previous post I mentioned how an appraiser analyzes a market.  Our local real estate board provides monthly statistical reports at www.nefar.com.  The reports are found by clicking Market Stats on the home page and then picking a report from the menu.  They are useful for a macro understanding of a market, but include a large and broad data set, so they are less useful when trying to drill down to a smaller market segment.

A recent analysis for Fleming Island Plantation (FIP) is used to illustrate how data selection can change the results of a trend analysis.  It may not change the direction (up/down) but can impact absorption, average sale price, etc. 

A recent MLS search of FIP activity west of US 17 found 107 closed sales over a  12-month period.   The chart below shows the average sale price and average price per square foot (SF) for all sales in column one. MLS was used to identify only attached homes (townhouses) and found 36 (33.6%) of the sales met this criteria.  The average sale price and price per SF is in column two.  Column three shows the average for 63 (58.9%) of existing detached sales (re-sales) in FIP over the last year and column four represents the detached new construction over the last year.  There were only eight closed sales identified as new construction, but seven of those closed within the last 90 days.    

The chart helps illustrate the importance of understanding the various market segments within a larger market. For instance, if I am appraising a detached home within FIP and I only run a search that gives me column one findings, then I could underestimate the current market trends for my specific market segment.  Column one would overestimate the trend if my subject was a townhouse. 

This is only an important first step, because we still need to understand how distressed activity impacts the market.  I will address that topic in my next post.   


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Posted by Scott A. Austin on April 16th, 2014 9:49 AMLeave a Comment

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April 11th, 2014 10:18 AM

Spring is one of my favorite times of year because nature is waking up from it's Winter dormancy. 

The plants are growing and producing rich colors.  The animals are busy searching out new locations to nest and start a new family.

The residential real estate market is also beginning to emerge from it's usually quiet Winter season.  We are moving into the traditionally busy selling season in northeast Florida.

Building permits are on the rise as builders anticipate increased demand in 2014 compared to 2013.  We are also seeing an increase of non-distressed listings entering the market. 

We analyze the distressed and non-distressed activity closely in each appraisal, because it is important that we understand the market and accurately report trends as they change.  New construction activity can also be an important factor. 

My next post will illustrate how we analyze the real estate market as we look for macro and micro trends.   


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Posted by Scott A. Austin on April 11th, 2014 10:18 AMLeave a Comment

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