February 2015: Metrostudy’s survey of the Jacksonville Market – including Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties – shows that 1,142 single-family units were started in the 4Q14. This represents a decrease of 11.3% compared to last year’s rate of 1,288 units. Still, the annual starts rate compared to last year decreased by only 1.1% to 5,350 annual starts. Single-family quarterly closings totaled 1,257 units, up 6.1% from 4Q13. The annual closings totaled 5,520 units, up 18.1% from 2013’s number.
Starts and closings this quarter in Jacksonville were down significantly from 3Q14, which is not uncommon seasonality. However, since this year’s fourth quarter starts was well below last year’s fourthquarter, the annual starts rate declined. The annual closing pace continues to grow as slightly more units were occupied in 4Q14 than last year.
The Jacksonville new housing market’s pricing distribution continues to push into the higher ranges and weaken in the lower price points,” said Anthony Crocco, Director of Metrostudy’s Jacksonville region. “Recently, pricing increases have slowed and some of this change in distribution is due to the new projects opening at higher prices and older projects selling out at lower prices.”
Total single-family inventory, comprised of units under construction, finished vacant units and models, equaled 2,728 units on the ground at the end of the fourth quarter, a 5.9 months of supply. Overall, housing inventories decreased by 6.1% compared to last year. As compared to last year, Jacksonville’s
under construction housing inventory declined by 18.2%, or 347 units to 1,562. Finished vacant inventory increased by
17.3% from 803 units last year to 942 this
This quarter, 1,481 lots were delivered to the Jacksonville market, a 104.3% increase from 725 lots delivered in the same quarter last year. Vacant developed lot inventory stands at 15,675 lots, a decrease of 2.3% compared to 16,036 lots last year. Based upon the annual starts rate, this lot inventory represents 35.2 months of supply, a decrease of 0.4 months from last year.
“Overall housing inventory levels have been slowly declining on a relative and actual basis for about a year,” said Crocco. “There has been little change to the level of finished inventory, which is in good condition at approximately 38% of all housing inventory. The vacant developed lot inventory ratio has flattened over the last few quarters, at about 3 years supply, as lot deliveries have picked up and are approximately matching the starts rate.”
The resale housing market remains strong, although some foreclosure pressure remains. Even with foreclosures, pricing growth is good and inventories are tight.
“The new home market’s annual construction rate has been slowly declining for about a year,” said Crocco. “Closings are still growing and have exceeded starts for most of the last year, although barely. In the short term, we expect construction activity to pick up slowly, with very slow pricing growth except what is due to the change in subdivision mix – more newly developed projects coming in, and older projects with discounted lot prices selling out.”
The following table identifies the top ten communities as defined by annual construction starts.
Community Annual Starts
Nocatee (Duval) ………………………… 886
Durbin Crossing (St. Johns) ………… 277
OakLeaf Plantation (Clay)…………… 253
Bartram Park (Duval)…………………. 169
Palencia (St. Johns) …………………… 117
Pablo Bay (Duval) ……………………… 113
Las Calinas (St. Johns) ……………….. 104
Eagle Landing (Clay) ………………….. 103
Bainebridge Estates (Duval) …………. 97
Samara Lakes (St. Johns) …………….. 82
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