Trulia names Jacksonville the hottest real estate market in the country for its impressive population growth, “long-term economic stability here plus great schools, fantastic weather, and proximity to the ocean.” Coastal Living taps Jacksonville as the hottest seaside market, where buyers can purchase their “dream coastal escape.” Business Insider calls the city one of the best places to live in the south, remarking that its “beach-adjacent location makes it ideal for outdoor activities and mentioning its “burgeoning art and music scenes, as well as new business development.” CoreVest characterizes Jacksonville as one of the best cities for real estate investment, for job growth that is projected at 40 percent in the next decade, “four Fortune 500 companies based in the city,” and rents up to “20% higher than the national average,” which create “plenty of opportunity for investors in the short term and long term with home price appreciation down the line.”
The city is also noted for being home to 13 Forbes Global 500 companies, for its consistent wage growth, its world-class health care system, its ideal year-round climate, and its business-friendly environment.
All of this has raised Jacksonville’s profile among Florida’s top destinations and made it one of the nation’s most attractive spots for luxury real estate purchases. After being hit hard by Hurricane Irma in August of 2017, Jacksonville has roared back, its luxury market embracing both a high-end local clientele and those looking to relocate to this dynamic area in an exquisite, multi-million-dollar property.
It should come as no surprise then, that Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® (CBGL) has forged a significant presence in the city. Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, the leader in luxury real state in northeast Florida and the largest Coldwell Banker franchisee in the state, was recently integrated into the prestigious CBGL program during a celebratory two-night rollout at the oceanfront the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, an exclusive playground dating back to 1923, and the Timiquana Country Club, a premier private club known for its southern hospitality and its million-dollar views.
So what’s behind all the fanfare Jacksonville is enjoying? Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Broker/Owner Pete Dalton and Kim Martin-Fisher, top-producing agent at the beaches and #1 at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, with more than $63 million in luxury real estate sold in 2017, gave us their insight on the local luxury market and also let us in on what it’s like to be stewards of the Global Luxury brand.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How would you characterize the Jacksonville luxury housing market right now?
Pete Dalton While the luxury market in town has seen moderate increases at the beaches, it is red hot with rising prices and shorter marketing times.
Kim Martin-Fisher The luxury market is extremely active this year. Oceanfront homes that remained on the market for years have been selling and inventory is low.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury What is the primary driving force behind this growth, in your opinion?
Pete Dalton The northeast Florida market is driven by strong job growth, a great lifestyle, and relatively inexpensive price points. With almost unlimited recreational opportunities, good weather, and a strong restaurant scene, we are fast becoming a new destination market.
Kim Martin-Fisher I attribute this to many things. The luxury buyers have more confidence in the economy. The new tax laws have affected many buyers that desire to homestead where there is no state income tax.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How has this recent boom manifested itself, in terms of prices?
Pete Dalton Luxury home pricing in our markets has continued to increase. New product coming onto the market is bringing the price of resales higher and the inability of developers to permit waterfront units has made waterfront a smaller portion of overall inventory, once again driving up prices.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How has this growth impacted the number of units sold at $1 million and higher? Are they up or down this year?
Pete Dalton Our unit sales of $1,000,000-plus properties is up compared to 2017.
Kim Martin-Fisher I feel like we have been discovered. The out-of-state buyers have more than doubled. I have closed over $24 million in luxury properties this year and currently have 11 properties under contract. Four of the 11 are oceanfront properties, and most of the transactions are cash.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury In terms of real estate value, how do you think Jacksonville compares to other more established luxury markets in the U.S.?
Pete Dalton Jacksonville is a wonderful market for purchasers. We have high-quality communities with great amenities in a growing market area with great natural assets at a very reasonable price compared to most of the Florida markets.
Kim Martin-Fisher The Jacksonville luxury market and oceanfront properties are very inexpensive compared to most areas and the quality of life is amazing.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Where are the city’s highest real estate prices currently found?
Pete Dalton We have four markets that are on the ocean and two that are on the St. Johns River; the beaches markets have the highest prices, followed by the riverfront.
Kim Martin-Fisher The beaches high-end luxury market (Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach) is booming and confidence is high. I expect a banner year in 2018.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Where are the good buys in Jacksonville right now?
Pete Dalton The best values are in the $500,000–$750,000 market, where there is more inventory than in other price ranges.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury What is the typical Jacksonville luxury buyer looking for in a real estate purchase?
Pete Dalton Jacksonville luxury buyers have so many options that it is difficult to select one. Obviously, they are looking for quality construction and great location. Location can be any combination of schools, golf courses, equestrian facilities, urban core, or beaches. With a market as large and diverse as north Florida, there is literally something for everyone.
Kim Martin-Fisher I specialize in the Jacksonville beaches with an office in Ponte Vedra Beach, which is popular with luxury buyers thanks to its small-town vibe with fine restaurants, magnificent beaches, fabulous golf courses, oceanfront beach clubs, beachfront summer festivals, concerts, and great shopping.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury When you look at all of the data and stats this year, what has been the most surprising thing to you this year, so far?
Pete Dalton I don’t think there have been any major surprises. The strength of the top-end beaches market, which is our most expensive market, has been pleasant but not really surprising.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How does it feel to be a part of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program? How do you see it as differentiating in Jacksonville?
Pete Dalton We are truly excited to be part of the CBGL luxury universe. Having the strongest national/international program and being able to articulate that is hugely helpful to our agents. Our team of luxury agents is large, productive, and growing; we have truly been able to assist more people in this market than ever before. Augmenting the program with local marketing and education enables us to build a platform that we expect to grow for the foreseeable future.
Kim Martin-Fisher Marketing the properties as a lifestyle, incredible photography, luxury videos and presentation are a must to attract the luxury buyer. The presence of my listings on the web, luxury magazines, newspaper, TV advertising, and direct mail are imperative to a successful sale in the luxury real estate market.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How has all of this change and growth impacted your team’s luxury marketing strategies?
Pete Dalton We have worked hard to embrace CBGL and have decided on a team approach to augment what CB brings to us nationally and internationally. By using our Concierge Service department and making a company commitment to luxury, we have involved more agents than we anticipated and have hired agents onto our team. All and all, CBGL has been a huge win for us.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How has the market bounced back from the hurricane and what do you see as the long-term impact (if any)?
Pete Dalton The hurricane impacted a lot of our waterfront, some of which will be rebuilt and some that won’t. We believe the long-term effect of Irma is minimal.
Kim Martin-Fisher Last year was a completely different market up until December, when activity was very high.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How are you folding the CBGL brand identity into your marketing?
Pete Dalton Our belief is that CB is the brand that counts and our job is to support the agents with great personal marketing at subsidized pricing. That being said, we have made a commitment to institutional marketing for luxury properties and have formed a committee of CBGL agents to make decisions about funds invested into the program by the company and the participating agents.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury What can you say about how the CBGL brand identity will help your business and increase your market share?
Pete Dalton We have two offices that we are transitioning to CBGL offices and that we believe will benefit immensely from the change from Previews to CBGL. No one owns the luxury market in north Florida, so our challenge to our agents is that they need to own that market and we need to support their efforts. We think this is a winning strategy and intend to be consistent in our support of it.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Do you also expect it to help with recruiting?
Pete Dalton It already has. As our program grows, we anticipate this becoming a trend.
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