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Yulee housing on the first-coast

This is the First Coast’s best market for first-time homebuyers

Posted on: March 28, 2024

Read Full Article featured in Jacksonville Business Journal, written by Joanne Drilling and James Cannon.

Yulee is the best market for first-time homebuyers on the First Coast, according to an analysis by Realtor.com that balanced the cost of homes with how much they’re expected to appreciate.

The analysis identified the 10 best markets nationwide for first-time homebuyers, as well as the top local city or suburb in most major metro areas. Realtor.com examined median home listing prices, available inventory, forecasted price growth, commute times and unemployment rates when compiling the data.

Homes in the Yulee area had a median listing price of $378,900 for the 12 months ending December 2023. That was 0.75% cheaper than Jacksonville MSA’s median price of $381,773Home sale prices are expected to grow 3.9% by the end of 2024, compared to only 2% in the rest of the Jacksonville MSA.

On average, residents in Yulee can expect a 31-minute commute; Nassau County overall has benefited both from the growth of its own economy as well as its proximity to the Jacksonville area.

According to Realtor.com, the community had 1,087 active home listings with a 12-month inventory of 118.7 homes per 1,000 households.

Income needed to afford a starter home

The country’s current median home price is $382,000, while the average median home price on Realtor.com’s best markets for first-time homebuyers list is 42% lower at $223,720.

As interest rates rose last year, the income threshold needed to afford a home has also increased. But the National Association of Realtors expects rates to cool slightly to an average rate of 6.3% for 2024.

Not considering taxes and insurance, Realtor.com’s Hale estimates an income of at least $62,100 to $69,000 would be needed to purchase at the $223,720 median price. That’s assuming a mortgage rate of 6.66% and a 30-year fixed mortgage with varying down payments of 0% to 10%.

But Hale isn’t ruling out communities that track further down.
“Areas that rank lower tend to be in pricier metro areas. Furthermore, some are weighed down by lower housing market outlooks for 2024,” she said. “For first-time buyers who are in an area and don’t want to leave, however, the markets on this list still represent a good opportunity relative to other parts of major metro areas.”

Bigger metros may continue to feel affordability squeeze

At least half the communities on Realtor.com’s top 10 list for first-time buyers are in the central part of the country, far from the coastal job-growth hot spots that traditionally attracted young workers.

While the pandemic and the remote-work wave dispersed some of that growth into less traditional areas, many companies are now dialing back on remove work.

A recent Realtor.com study found potential buyers in least affordable markets with substantial workplace flexibility were most likely to look for a home outside where they currently lived. While in more affordable markets, this was less of a concern.

“I think the big takeaway for larger tech-oriented markets that have pricier housing is that affordability matters and if they want to hold on to the population gains they’ve enjoyed in recent years, they need to tackle housing affordability,” Hale said.

Also heartening for first-time homebuyers is Redfin data showing large, institutional investors aren’t gobbling up single-family homes at quite the same clip.

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