May 27, 2009 - St Johns' existing home sales rose in May year to date from 554 homes to 616 homes for an increase of 11.19%.
St Johns County's median sales price for existing homes last month was $185,495 versus the state median sales price of $138,500; a year ago; St Johns' County's median sales price was $212,000 versus the statewide median sale price of $199,500 for a 12.5% decrease at the County level versus a 31 percent decrease The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in March 2009 was $174,900, down 11.5 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR..
Home sales in the $200K and under market from year to date May 2009 versus 2008 grew by 42% from 257 units to 265 units according the information gathered from the St Johns/St Augustine Board of Realtors which has been the faster sales growth in the market.
The $200K to $300K range of the market is reasonably balanced. It represents 22.6% of current listings and 26.7% of sales for the same period.
Starting with the $300K price range and over, active listings account for 45.9% of the listings and 22.4% of the sales.
The most impacted segment of the St Johns' County market is the over $500K. Unit sales May year to date 2009 versus a year ago are 28 versus 51 for a decrease of 45%. There are currently 389 active listings in the over $500K sale price market. Of the total sales in the county, this segment of the market represented 23% of the listings and 5.9% of the total number of homes sales. This is likely attributable to higher jumbo mortgage rates, larger down payment requirements and tighter mortgage qualifications standards.
Housing industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) note, however, a significant downward distortion in the current median price due to many discounted sales, including a large number of foreclosures. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
According to NAR's latest housing industry outlook, it could take a few months for the housing market to gain momentum, though there are signs of stabilization. "The share of lower priced home sales has trended up, indicating a return of many first-time buyers," says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Buyer traffic has been rising, and real estate offices are getting phone inquires about the tax credit. By early summer we should be seeing a positive impact on home sales from record-low mortgage interest rates in addition to the stimulus provisions."
Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81 percent in May, down significantly from the average rate of 5.92 percent in April 2008, according to Freddie Mac.
For more information on buying and selling real estate in the St Johns County market, call Jonathan Bagg, at 904.599.2028 or Lois Houghton at 904.599.2029 of THE BAGG GROUP, or visit our website at beachbagg.com
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