Leon County Trails Neighbors In Real Estate Market Recovery
The four-counties that comprise the Tallahassee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) each are enjoying their own version of a real estate market recovery.
Today, we look at the housing market performance in Wakulla, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Leon County, Florida, but first, start with all of the listings outside of Leon County.
Homes For Sale In Wakulla, Gadsden, and Jefferson County, Florida
Home Sales In Leon And Surrounding Counties
Leon County has enjoyed a steady recovery since the market bottom of 2012, but when we look at neighboring counties, Leon is last in line.
The graph above shows the number of homes sold each year for Wakulla County (blue line), Leon County (red line), Gadsden County (green line), and Jefferson County (orange line).
Leon County sales are actually showing 1/10th of the sales totals in order to keep the scale of the graph tight. Here is where all four counties stand:
- Gadsden County: Up 102% since the market bottom
- Jefferson County: Up 230% since the market bottom
- Leon County: Up 92% since the market bottom
- Wakulla County: Up 141% since the market bottom
While all four counties have moved higher, only Wakulla County has continued stronger in 2019.
Tallahassee Area Home Prices
When we look at home prices in the extended Tallahassee area market, we see that it is getting more expensive to buy a home everywhere, although Gadsden County has taken a step back this year.
Here is where all four counties stand on home prices now versus the average at the bottom of the market:
- Gadsden County: Up 39% since the market bottom
- Jefferson County: Up 52% since the market bottom
- Leon County: Up 34% since the market bottom
- Wakulla County: Up 54% since the market bottom
Wakulla County is really booming, and much of its average price increase can be attributed to new construction as nearly 1 of every 5 listings right now in Wakulla County are new construction.
Gadsden County is also booming, with a whopping 30% of the listings right now in Gadsden County are new construction. Much of the new construction listings are "proposed," meaning they have not yet been built.
Leon County is fairly stable, and it will be a race to the end of the year to see if home sales will be higher or lower than in 2018. Only 12% of the listings right now in Leon County are new construction, and buyers are screaming for more.
While Jefferson County home prices have risen greatly, there are still very few homes sold each month. Only 6% of the listings right now in Jefferson County are new construction, a sign that growth remains elusive there. Below, we cover inventory analysis (supply and demand) for each of the four counties in the Tallahassee area.
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Tallahassee Area Home Values
When we look at home values in the extended Tallahassee area market, we see that homeowners have been gaining equity at faster than normal rates for the past seven years.
The market bottom for Jefferson County came in 2014, while the other three counties saw values hit their lowest points in 2012. Historically, appreciation rates are usually just over 3%, but homeowners in all four counties are faring much better right now.
- Gadsden County: Up 38% since the market bottom (4.67% annual appreciation)
- Jefferson County: Up 29% since the market bottom (5.18% annual appreciation)
- Leon County: Up 37% since the market bottom (4.64% annual appreciation)
- Wakulla County: Up 48% since the market bottom (5.73% annual appreciation)
While all four counties have moved up from the bottom, only Wakulla County continues stronger in 2019.
Supply And Demand For Homes Near Tallahassee
Finally, a current inspection of the Tallahassee MLS reveals the following about the supply and demand for homes in the area surrounding Tallahassee:
- Gadsden County: 142 homes for sale (34% under contract) and 30% new construction
- Jefferson County: 86 homes for sale (14% under contract) and 6% new construction
- Leon County: 1381 homes for sale (38% under contract) and 12% new construction
- Wakulla County: 244 homes for sale (29% under contract) and 19% new construction
Unsurprisingly, Tallahassee has the highest percentage of listings that are under contract and a too low inventory of new construction. Leon County leadership has effectively chased away builders with high impact fees, variability in land use, and general contempt for business.
This trend has been ongoing for many years, but we are really starting to see it in the cost of homes in 2019. It will get worse in the coming years as new land developments set record-highs for land costs. Of course, all costs, taxes, impact fees, etc. gets pushed down to the consumer (you and me).
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