How COVID-19 Impacted Real Estate in 2020

January 15, 2021

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The resilience of the real estate market was perhaps the biggest surprise in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of millions of jobs, and a crippled economy, millions of American’s made waves in the real estate industry by browsing and, oftentimes, purchasing a new home. With thousands of businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market saw positive trends and record-setting numbers.

 

The 2020 real estate market was expected to see steady growth. Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist predicted there to be more than 750,000, for an 11% increase, in new home sales while existing homes sales would be repressed by low supply of homes to more than 5.56 million for a modest 4% increase. The median home price was anticipated to land at  $270,400 for an increase of 4.3%. Overall, the NAR was forecasting a healthy year for real estate. 

 

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, in the infancy of the pandemic, the real estate market was merely reacting to the sudden, bizarre changes that were happening in the world. With the new phrase called “social distancing” added to American vocabulary, all players in the real estate industry were in uncharted waters. With schools closing and businesses shut down, the needs of home seekers shifted.  

 

The COVID-19 pandemic made an interesting impact on the real estate market. While inventory was low and homes were selling quickly, the NAR reported a surge of people moving to more rural areas from larger, more crowded cities while desiring more moderate climates. “We are seeing many buyers coming from the Midwest, Northeast, and South Florida,” shares Sherry Davidson, President of Davidson Realty. This shift was caused by multiple COVID-19 related effects. Offices started allowing employees to work exclusively from home to successfully socially distance and people were enjoying the new routine COVID-19 brought and desired a slower pace of life. 

 

Throughout the changing times, Davidson Realty was able to adjust to new safety procedures and listen to the new needs of their clients. “Buyers were looking for homes that were more in tune to the daily needs of their families. Many were working from home and homeschooling their children, requiring more functional space for work and play,” shares Sherry Davidson. “Families were eager to purchase a home, but with inventory at record lows, we were seeing multiple offer situations and buyers were paying more than appraised values. Sellers were in a position to not consider offers with contingencies for financing and appraisals.” With interest rates at record-setting lows, buyers were eager to get their hands on their dream home. 

 

Although NAR has not yet released their year-end sales report, NAR reported in December they were expecting to reach 5.52 million in purchases in 2020, which is the highest annual mark since 2006. They also anticipate the median home price will hit a record-setting high at $293,000. Lawrence Yun has stated that the momentum from the second half of 2020 will carry into 2021.  Yun foresees interest rates remaining favorable and an increase in supply which will give home buyers more choices and repress home price growth. 

 

It’s safe to say the real estate market is still on fire. If you are interested in buying or selling your home, contact Davidson Realty today at (904) 940-5000. 

Generous Visionaries – Hutson Companies Supports Davidson Cares Clay Day

January 13, 2021

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Since the beginning, Hutson Companies has been a major sponsor to Davidson Cares Clay Day. The generosity of Hutson Companies is truly admirable. In 2018, Hutson Companies pledged to match up to $40,000 as an additional contribution to St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS), one of the organizations that benefit from Davidson Cares Clay Day. That year, more than $52,000 was raised and, thanks to the thoughtfulness of Hutson Companies, SAYS efforts to shape the future of at-risk youth was supported further.

 

The partnership between Davidson Realty and Hutson Companies spans many years. From helping Hutson Companies sell farmland in Elkton and Hastings to, most recently, commercial land in OakLeaf Plantation, the respect and trust between Davidson Realty and Huston Companies has formed a thriving friendship.

 

“David Hutson is an amazing real estate visionary. He has built homes and developed beautiful communities successfully for many years. David’s work is truly exceptional,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. “In addition to their incredible work in the real estate industry, David and Nancy Hutson are extremely generous supporters to numerous local charities. They seem to fly under the radar to avoid recognition, but their contributions to our community are staggering.”

 

The Hutson Companies is known for developing family-friendly communities while being both environmentally and financially conscious. Since 1973, The Hutson Companies has developed dozens of residential communities in Northeast Florida to total more than 20,000 home sites. The Hutson Companies is presently developing projects in Clay, Duval, and St. Johns Counties.

 

One of the Hutson Companies’ latest developments is OakLeaf Plantation. OakLeaf Plantation is a master-planned community in southwest Jacksonville spanning 6,400 acres of land in both Clay and Duval Counties. This project is the largest development of regional impact in Clay County. The Hutson Companies has been recognized with numerous awards for their work on OakLeaf Plantation, including Developer of the Year by the Northeast Florida Builder’s Association.

 

Davidson Cares Clay Day is proud to have the support and sponsorship from Hutson Companies as they continue to do incredible work in Northeast Florida. To learn more about Hutson Companies visit their website at www.hutsoncompanies.com or call (904) 429-9965.

 

Davidson Cares Clay Day

The 5th Annual Davidson Cares Clay Day was held on October 29, 2020, at Jacksonville Clay Target Sports. Davidson Cares Clay Day included two-sport shooting events, beginner skeet, and sporting clay. Individuals and teams from beginner to expert levels were invited to participate and enjoy a safe shooting experience with no group gatherings.

 

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

 

The $40,500 raised from the event and raffles went directly to Builders Care, St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS), and Investing in Kids (INK!) in equal sums.

 

Visit DavidsonCares.com to learn more about these organizations and donate to support their causes.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TOP PRODUCERS FOR DECEMBER & THE 4TH QUARTER

January 12, 2021

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It is time to celebrate the end of 2020 and our Top Producers for December and the 4th quarter. I am so proud of our team at Davidson Realty and the challenges they faced this year.

 

The Top Producer (most closings) and Top Sales agent for the month and quarter is Mirtha Barzaga. Mirtha helped customers find homes even though we are experiencing a shortage of available homes by also considering new construction. She had contracts with four different builders during the quarter. She helped customers buy or sell homes in World Golf Village and all over north Florida. She does whatever it takes to help her customers achieve their dreams.

 

 

The Top Listing agent for the month and quarter is Lynn Whitley. Lynn helped four customers to sell their homes during the quarter. Lynn has many years of real estate experience and has been a member of our team for over 12 years. She loves a challenge and handles many interesting properties.

 

 

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Unparalleled Support. That’s The Davidson Difference.

January 5, 2021

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With more than 1.5 million Realtors © in the United States and 10,000 Realtors © in Northeast Florida, it is imperative for agents to select a brokerage that is committed to their achievements and growth to set them apart from the rest.  

 

Davidson Realty provides their agents with a toolbox to equip them with the resources necessary to build a thriving career. Since 1989, Davidson Realty has been among the top real estate brokerages in Northeast Florida and continues to build a reputation of providing trustworthy and personalized service to their clients. 

 

Agents at Davidson Realty receive unparalleled support from day one. “At Davidson Realty, we strongly believe in a “Pay It Forward” culture. We believe in putting people and relationships first. And that starts with our agents,” shares Andrea Gallagher, Davidson Realty Sales and Training Manager. “By investing our time and resources in supporting our agents we take the guesswork out for them and allow them to fully focus on serving their customers and community. The agents we see most successful in this industry are ones who have meaningful relationships with their customers and the greater community.” 

 

The Davidson Realty team organizes various in-house programs to continually provide agents with tools to build their own success. Agents receive monthly training from qualified professionals on topics including: lending, title, new construction, development, contracts, social media, public relations, tax, inspections, and listings. Davidson Realty agents also have one-on-one coaching and training sessions available with President Sherry Davidson and Sales and Training Manager Andrea Gallagher to discuss transaction issues and help with contracts. In addition to one-on-one coaching, Davidson Realty has a successful mentoring program. “New agents are paired with an experienced agent that not only guides but is their 50/50 partner for the new agents’ first two transactions from start to close. The mentor and mentee meet frequently to discuss processes to build their business including lead generating strategies, creating a listing package, and understanding contracts and listing agreements,” shares Andrea Gallagher. 

 

Davidson Realty also organizes group coaching sessions, a book club series, and goal setting and yearly business planning workshops. Sherry Davidson and Andrea Gallagher are both certified mentors for Brian Buffini’s Real Estate training courses and teach his classes in offices regularly. These training sessions are for all experience levels of agents and are endorsed by the National Association of Realtors.  

 

Along with the in-person training and mentoring, Davidson Realty Agents receive business, marketing, and technical support. Davidson Realty has an in-house graphic designer to design and coordinate mailings of flyers, postcards, invitations, pop-by tags, and more for customer and community events. Agents have access to a transaction management system for all their transaction document needs as well as listing services such as MLS listings, contract maintenance, and text riders for signs. The Davidson Realty Team create and design customized monthly emails for each of their agents and assist with building business pages on various social media platforms. 

 

On top of the abundant in-house support, Davidson Realty agents truly become part of a greater family that is eager to help agents make dreams come true for their clients. 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

December 23, 2020

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“God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.” Billy Graham

 

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats continue to show more buyer demand than seller supply. Pending sales were below normal in March, April, and May due to COVID-19; however, the year to date pending sales are up 11.6% over the same period last year. The 2,858 pending sales in November is 21.3% higher than last November.

 

The 2,680 closings in November are 13% higher than last November. We are up 6.7% year-to-date over the same period last year.

 

The homes available for sale is the lowest number on any reports I have seen. There are 5,211 homes available in Northeast Florida down 44.7% from 9,418 in November 2019 and 9,976 in November 2018.

 

There is 1.7 months supply of homes for sale which is down 51.4% from last year. A balanced market is 5 to 6 months of inventory.

 

The Northeast Florida builders are building more homes than in any year since 2005. There have been 11,343 permits issued in the Jacksonville MSA through November. That is 18% higher than 2019 in the same period. There were 10,345 permits in all 12 months of 2019.

 

The low supply and increased demand is causing prices to continue to rise. The median sales price of $262,000 is 12.9% higher than last November and we are up 8.8% year-to-date. The average sales price of $317,602 is 17.2% higher than last November and we are up 11.5% year-to-date.

 

Realtor.com has issued the first predictions for 2021. They are predicting a 7% growth in sales nationally and a 5.7% price increase. The 2021 prediction for the Jacksonville area is 9.4% growth in sales and 5.0% increase in prices.

 

Realtor.com is predicting more homes will hit the market in 2021, but buyers will struggle with affordability as home prices continue to rise. Mortgage rates will slowly rise toward 3.4%.

 

· Millennials will continue to drive the market. Older millennials will likely be trade-up buyers while the younger segment of the generation age into their key home-buying years.

· Affordability will become a growing obstacle.

· Inventory will begin the slow road toward recovery.

· Suburbs will shine if remote work stays around.

 

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and an amazing 2021. This year was full of ups and downs with COVID and the election. I wish you a wonderful and safe New Year!

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