Jacksonville ranked the #4 healthiest housing market in US

By Alex Sifakis, COO, JWB Real Estate Capital


Found the following article in Builder Magazine yesterday morning and wanted to share, dare we say the word "appreciation" again?




The Healthiest Housing Markets

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, November 07, 2011
Many of the housing markets projected to have the biggest gains into 2012 tend to be the home to major universities, strong private sector employment, or have nearby military bases, according to a list of the healthiest housing markets by Builder Magazine. Builder teamed with Hanley Wood Market Intelligence to compile its annual list of the healthiest housing markets in the country, factoring in housing projections from Moody's Economy.com. The list was based on projected price appreciation, population growth, income growth, and improving employment picture. 

The following are the cities that topped Builder's list, including projected housing permits in 2011 and 2012.
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Minn.-Wis.
2011 Building Permit Forecast: 4,511
2012 Building Permit Forecast: 10,118

Home prices here are expected to rise 8 percent next year, the highest growth projected in the 100 cities analyzed. As a hub for medical technology and headquarters for several large companies, employment is expected to grow 2.5 percent in 2012. 

2. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
2011 Building Permit Forecast: 1,004
2012 Building Permit Forecast: 1,650

With Colorado State University the major employer here and often ranked as one of the best cities to live in the country, households are expected to grow by 2.7 percent in 2012 and employment is expected to grow 2.6 percent. Housing permits are expected to rise 50 percent as well, according to Moody projections. 

3. Salt Lake City, Utah
2011 Building Permit Forecast: 1,294
2012 Building Permit Forecast: 1,181

With lots of high-tech businesses, Salt Lake City is poised to have some grains in employment and income in the coming year. After a drop in home prices, prices are expected to rebound and increase 4.7 percent next year. 

4. Jacksonville, Fla.
Health Index: 84.0
2011 Population Forecast: 1,343,300
2011 Total Building Permit Forecast: 2,284

2012 Total Building Permit Forecast: 4,363
Seeing a Florida market so high on our list of healthy markets may be a surprise to some. But the city's strong employment base has helped it come back before many of the services-dependent housing markets to the south. A strong military presence has always anchored the economy. But a growing financial services sector has added employment in recent years. Employment is expected to rise 3.2% next year. Median income is projected to rise 3.3%.

Thanks to job growth and a diminished supply of foreclosures, home prices have stabilized; they are slated to rise nearly 5% next year. It helps matters that Duval County, home to Jacksonville, has the highest average annual wages in Florida, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2009, wages stood at $58,505.

Builders and developers must sense the market is poised to recover. They have pulled 28% more permits through the first half of this year than last. Moody's expects that growth to accelerate in 2012, with permit activity nearly doubling. Roughly 70% of the action is in single-family housing.

See which other cities made Builder's top 20 list. 

Source: "Healthiest Housing Markets: Mid-2011 Update," Builder Magazine (2011)

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