Jacksonville escapes the worst of boom-bust cycle
In part, that's because the job market has remained fairly robust. "Jacksonville is a very business-oriented city,"
Nor was Jacksonville flooded by the investors who swept into South Florida during the housing boom to buy and flip properties for a profit. "It didn't really catch on here, and so we were blessed," says Hank Oltmanns, president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.
Despite an unusually large inventory of homes for sale, overall prices are rising. That's not true, though, for newly built houses and condos that aren't on the waterfront, which have tended to fall in price this year, brokers say.
The market has evolved considerably. At its peak, "People were fighting over properties before the 'for sale' sign got into the yard," "Today, a home may be on the market 90 days to six months or more."
In the meantime, the industry is trying to help stop foreclosures by training brokers about short sales, Oltmanns says. In a short sale, a lender lets a homeowner sell a property for less than the value of the mortgage and thereby avoid foreclosure.
But it will probably be awhile before the market can reverse course. "In 2008, we are anticipating a similar market to this year," Sherrer says. "But in the latter part of next year, it will start to pick up, and we're ready for it."
The most expensive
William and Julie Pyburn are selling this gated Mediterranean mansion on the St. Johns River that was built in 2006 on 2.88 acres and a bulkhead on the river.
Price: $10 million
Bathrooms: 6 full and 2 half
Size: 8,400 square feet
Features: Interiors are fully furnished, including custom built-in drapery treatments, a home theater, wine room with stained-glass windows, exercise room, two-story library, gazebo, outdoor fireplace, spa, pool, two docks, boathouse and boatlift.
This home, built in 1922, is on the market.
Size: 1,016 square feet
Features: Walking distance to San Marco Square for shopping and dining, original hardwood floors, updated bathroom, fenced-in backyard with a deck.
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