Home Sales Rise, Jacksonville Foreclosure Homes Fewer- By: John Cutts
Total home sales in Jacksonville, Florida increased to a record level in July despite a decline in Jacksonville foreclosure homes, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.
An increase of 4 percent in total home sales was registered in July compared to the previous month while total sales represented a substantial increase of 32.5 percent from July 2008.
Meanwhile, the number of default and foreclosure filings fell in July to 2,550 filings, a significant drop of 30 percent compared to June, which had 3,640 filings. It was also lower than the 2,670 cases filed in May.
However, despite the increase in home sales, the median sales price for single-family houses in the Jacksonville metro area dropped to around $150,000, which is much lower than the $190,000 median price in October 2008, when home prices began to decline sharply.
The median sales price for all residential types in July dropped to $156,800, a decrease of 3 percent from the previous month and a substantial decrease from the median price of $184,100 in July 2008.
The median home sales price slightly increased in May to $164,200 from the previous month and then slightly declined in June to $162,100. The drop in July became more substantial.
As the uncertainty about foreclosures hover across Jacksonville and other places in Florida, new home builders are still hesitant to pursue pending construction projects. New housing starts in July declined to 276 units, a drop of 8 percent from the 300 units completed in June, based on a report from the Northeast Florida Builders Association.
Across the state, although the number of bank-owned repossessed homes dropped by 8 percent from June, overall foreclosure filings were still higher by 7 percent from June because of 9-percent increases in both scheduled auctions and default notices.
In July, Florida had more than 56,000 of its households given default or foreclosure notices, according to a nationwide survey of foreclosures by a real estate research firm. Over 35,000 received lis pendens notices and over 14,500 got foreclosure sale notices. Nearly 7,000 were repossessed by lenders to add to their real-estate owned inventories.
In a study of metro area foreclosures nationwide, Jacksonville ranked 30th among 203 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates in the first 6 months of this year. More than 13,500 households in the city received default or foreclosure notices, representing 2.32 percent of all households in the area.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.