HOW COVID IS AFFECTING THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

October 21, 2020

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For nearly three decades, Mike and Felicia created memories and raised five children in their colonial home in Beverly, MA. With every passing winter and as it turned into spring, the Waldrons would begin to daydream about what life would be like living in the Sunshine State. As their two youngest children “flew the coup” as they say, and headed off to college, the Waldrons, looked around their 3,500 square foot home filled with years of memories and felt confident it was the right time to pack up, downsize and head south. “We wanted to move near my parents and my sister and her family who live in Bradenton,” shared Felicia Waldron, “We were ready to escape the hard winter weather of the northeast and the higher cost of living.”

 

The research began and the Waldrons landed on a move to Northeast Florida. Like most who relocate here, they appreciated the friendly and welcoming community, the weather which includes some cooler temperatures during the winter months, and of course, the close proximity to the beach. “As we were touring a home in World Golf Village, we happened to meet Mirtha Barzaga, a Davidson Realty Agent,” Felicia said, “We stayed in contact with Mirtha while we prepared our home in Beverly for market, then listed during COVID.”

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an interesting impact on the real estate market. While inventory is low and homes are selling quickly in most markets, the National Association of Realtors is reporting an influx of people moving to more rural areas from larger cities and moving south for a more moderate climate. These often cross-country moves are a result of a few reasons all COVID related: corporate offices have allowed employees to work from home as a measure to help stop the spread of the virus, homeowners living in congested areas are seeking rural life where COVID cases are typically significantly lower, and families have reprioritized and are looking for a slower pace of life.

 

While the Waldrons were searching St. Johns County for their new and perfect home, they were concerned about each passing day their home in Beverly sat on the market. “It took us more than four months to sell our Beverly house because COVID was ramping up and things were pretty closed down in MA,” Felicia explained, “Mirtha sent us uplifting notes and emails as we were becoming more dejected wondering if our dream of moving to Florida was ever going to come to fruition.”

 

During the early months of the pandemic, the Waldrons found themselves packing up and moving across the country. But more importantly what they found was a good friend in their Realtor, Mirtha. “Mirtha’s experience and expertise helped take some of the stress out of buying a property long-distance. She went above and beyond by recommending home and pest inspectors, title company, arranging for deep cleanings before we arrived, and being present at the walk-through when we were not able. All in all, Mirtha became a trusted friend.”

 

The Waldrons have happily traded in their boots for flip-flops and are enjoying the Florida lifestyle in their Marsh Creek Country Club home. Despite the challenges COVID continues to bring, they are enjoying welcoming neighbors, golfing, and social events. And are beginning to create new memories in their new and perfect Northeast Florida home.

Real Estate Market Update

October 14, 2020

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“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Christopher Reeve

 

2020 has certainly presented some overwhelming obstacles and I have seen many heroes step up to help others. Many generous people are supporting our Davidson Cares Clay Day on October 29th and the charities are so grateful. You can still register to shoot or buy raffle tickets at DavidsonCares.com.

 

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for September show continued strong demand for homes in Northeast Florida. There were 3,307 pending sales in September 2020 which is 36% more than the 2,436 in September 2019. We are up 9% year-to-date over the same period last year.

 

The inventory of homes for sale of 5,869 is down 39% from last September. This is the lowest level of inventory we have seen in this market. During the 2003 to 2005 timeframe when inventory was very low, there were still around 7,000 homes on the market.

 

The month’s supply of inventory is at 2.0 months. A balanced market is 5 to 6 months of inventory.

 

The median sales price is up 8% and the average sales price is up 10% year-to-date due to the increased demand and low supply.

 

Dr. Brad O’Coonor, the Florida Realtors Chief Economist provided some insight at the recent Florida Realtors convention. “The pace of residential building is still behind last cycle’s highs, and while building has continued through the pandemic as construction was deemed an essential occupation, costs of materials and labor have increased. Safety protocols for workers, some disruption in supply chains, and increased demand for materials all have translated into cost increases. Coupled with some uncertainty in lending, relief on the supply side is not coming from new construction.  For existing homes, the tap is dwindling to a dribble as current homeowners are living in their homes for an average of 10 years compared to only seven during the early 2000s. Uncertainty in the economy is also prompting people who can to stay put. That said, demand continues to be strong, as those who were sitting on the sidelines are feeling the pull to jump into a home for the first time or finally trade up, fueled in large part by record-low interest rates and the desire to upgrade to more “pandemic friendly” homes and locations. This all leads to an imbalanced market with demand outstripping supply, particularly in the single-family home category.”

 

It is a great time to sell your home! If we can be of any assistance in understanding the market or the value of your home, please let us know.

 

Enjoy the baseball playoffs and all the other great sports. Go Braves!

Showing They Care – Riverside Homes Supports Davidson Cares Clay Day

October 9, 2020

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In 2016, Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson decided to put together a clay shoot fundraiser to support worthy causes. “I had no idea if anyone would want to be a sponsor,” Sherry said. “My first call was to Chris Wood (co-owner of Riverside Homes). He supported us with the largest sponsorship and has continued to generously do so every year since!”

 

The relationship between Davidson Realty and Riverside Homes is longstanding and built on a foundation of mutual respect. Davidson Realty and Riverside Homes often collaborate on projects and have enjoyed developing a strong relationship.

 

From lunch and learn opportunities to wine and appetizer events, Riverside Homes regularly invites Davidson Realty agents to their model homes throughout Northeast Florida to share information about new developments and floor plan designs. Riverside Homes is always a gracious host that, simply, does things right! Recently, Riverside Homes and Davidson Realty teamed up to create a series of videos to highlight the features and amenities of one of the newest communities in St. Johns County, SilverLeaf.

 

Riverside Homes is a locally-owned and award-winning home builder in Jacksonville, Florida with over 15 years of new home building experience including the 2019 Southern Living Idea House in Amelia Island, FL. Riverside Homes builds in amazing neighborhoods and provides designs that fit the way today’s families live. Every component of a Riverside Home is carefully crafted to ensure quality and value. Riverside Homes is currently building in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, St. Johns, Yulee, and Fleming Island.

 

“Riverside Homes is special. Chris Wood and Matt Roberts (owners of Riverside Homes) are genuine, caring, and filled with integrity. They are amazing people to do business with. What truly amazes me about this team is the respect and relationships they have with other builders who are their competitors,” Sherry continues.

 

Over the past four years, Davidson Cares Clay Day has raised more than $220,185 to support charities in need because of generous sponsors like Riverside Homes. To learn more about Riverside Homes visit their website at www.myriversidehome.com or call 904-530-4720.

 

Davidson Cares Clay Day

 

All are invited to attend the 5th Annual Davidson Cares Clay Day on October 29, 2020, at Jacksonville Clay Target Sports. Davidson Cares Clay Day will include two sport shooting events, beginner skeet, and sporting clay. Individuals and teams from beginner to expert levels are invited to participate. Come enjoy a safe shooting experience with no group gatherings!

 

In association with the event, there will also be a raffle contest. Prizes include a 65-quart YETI cooler with 13 full-size liquors.

 

Money raised from the event and raffles will go directly to Builders Care, St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS), and Investing in Kids (INK!) in equal sums.

 

Please help us support these organizations that are so important to our community by participating in Clay Day and purchasing raffle tickets! Visit DavidsonCares.com for more information.

 

WE’RE NOT LIKE OTHER REAL ESTATE TEAMS. IT’S THE DAVIDSON DIFFERENCE.

September 25, 2020

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Every year more and more people choose a career in real estate because of its flexibility, opportunities for career growth, earning potential, and job satisfaction. In an industry where success stems from hard work and a strong network, it is essential to be a part of a brokerage that can provide the resources to take your career to the next level.

 

Since 1989, Davidson Realty has been among Northeast Florida’s top real estate brokerages. What sets Davidson Realty apart is its focus and dedication to their agents. By providing ongoing, extensive training programs, agents are continuously sharpening their skills and knowledge of industry trends. “The professional support and the continued focus on industry education is invaluable,” shares longtime Davidson Realty Agent Jennifer Todd. Both new and experienced agents receive the technical and marketing support they need from in-house mentors who share their own industry knowledge. “Davidson Realty provides expertise in every aspect of the real estate industry, from land acquisition, development, permitting, construction, and sales. There is never a time when a question comes up and I don’t have someone to reach out to for support”, Todd continues. Davidson Realty provides the tools to ensure clients receive an exceptional experience and agents reach their goals.

 

Voted the area’s #1 “Best Place to Work” by Jacksonville Business Journal, Davidson Realty understands the importance of having confidence from the team members of your brokerage. Davidson Realty is a local, family-owned organization that celebrates the success of its agents. “Davidson Realty takes pride in the family-style camaraderie we have nurtured with our agents and staff,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. “That family culture coupled with our dynamic programming creates an environment where everyone helps each other. We all win, particularly our customers.”

 

Agents at Davidson Realty are drawn to the strong workplace community. Jennifer Todd, who began selling World Golf Village real estate in 2002, says there was no other real estate company she would have considered working with, and to this day she feels the same way. “The family environment at Davidson Realty is second to none. We have watched our children graduate from high school together, shared weddings, and the arrival of grandchildren. We have supported each other through family illnesses and the loss of family members. Jim Davidson even offered to sit with my son-in-law for the night shift while going through leukemia treatment. We laugh together, we cry together, and we celebrate our successes together.” Jennifer’s story is just one of many in the Davidson Realty team.

 

As families do, Davidson Realty’s team of agents love to have fun together. From outings to team-building contests, there is no shortage of excitement. An activities committee plans company-wide events that in the past have included Movie Nights, Kickball games, Bowling outings, St. Augustine Trolley Tour, and Jumbo Shrimp games. Davidson Realty and their agents also work together to continually give back to the community. Every other month, Davidson Realty’s World Golf Village office hosts a Blood Drive to benefit their community.

 

It’s clear that Davidson Realty is special. If you are interested in joining Davidson Realty’s team of real estate experts, contact Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson at 904-940-5000. Give yourself and your career the opportunity to thrive.

Real Estate Market Update

September 17, 2020

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“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

Edmund Burke

 

The big real estate story across the nation and locally is the shortage of available homes for sale. There were 6,403 homes for sale at the end of August according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) market stats. That is 35% less than August 2019 number of 9,874 for a reduction of 3,471 properties. We have 799 fewer properties than last month.

 

There is a 2.3 months supply of inventory available in Northeast Florida which is down 38% from August 2019 when there was a 3.7 months supply. A five to six month supply is considered a balanced market.

 

The inventory is down even with building permits rising. Building permits in the Jacksonville MSA are up about 6% year to date over the previous year even with COVID 19 slowing the process down. There were 7,823 permits issued through the eight months ending August. Most of the builders are selling their speculative homes before construction is finished.

 

The new listings in August 2020 from the NEFAR report are 3,441 homes. This is 4% fewer new listings than August 2019 and we are down 5% year to date. As new listings become available, they are going under contract quickly and many times with multiple offers.

 

There is a strong demand for homes in our market now. In addition to local buyers that want more space for working from home, schooling virtually, or more outdoor space, we have many people moving from other states. Some employers are allowing employees to work from home permanently or at least until mid-2021 and that allows employees to relocate to areas with better weather, more space, and lower taxes.

 

The strong demand and short supply of homes continues to drive prices higher. The median and average sales prices are up 8% and 9% respectively year-to-date. It also creates the perfect time to sell your home. If you are dreaming of a new or different home, please let us know and we can give you the guidance you need to make a good decision.

 

Davidson Cares is not making the mistake of doing nothing as mentioned in the quote. We have found a safe way with individual shoot times and no group gatherings to have our 5th Annual Davidson Cares Clay Day on October 29th. We would love for you to participate and support St. Augustine Youth Services, Investing in Kids and Builders Care with a donation, sponsorship, or as a shooter. Please go to DavidsonCares.com to get all of the information.

 

It is so nice to have sports back. I hope your favorite team has a great year. Thank you for your continued support of Davidson Realty, Davidson Property Management, and Davidson Cares!

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