The following is an excerpt from my Luxury Real Estate Interview for MD Magazine and Affluent LifeStyles

What do you feel was the biggest story in luxury real estate in 2015?

 Luxury is definitely “HOT” for sales in NE Florida.  Currently there are 3 properties for sale in the greater Jacksonville area over $10 Million. $10,450,000 for an oceanfront home in Ponte Vedra Beach with 11,300 square feet (MLS 753575). The highest active listing is a lot and home package to be built for $12,000,000 including 350 acres (MLS 799189), and in the middle is the largest waterfront lot and art deco home in San Marco with 7878 square feet for $11,750,000. (MLS788416)

In 2015, over 200 single family homes were sold with the price tag of $1 Million and above versus 173 Sold in 2014 and of those there were only 3 homes sold over $4 Million with the highest price being $4,300,000. Compare that to the highest sale price in 2015 for a single family home being $6,400,000.  Two homes sold in the $5 Million price tag with one of them being in Yulee for $5,948,700.  Five homes sold in the $4 Million price range with the highest being $4,700,000.

 In 2015, 21 condominiums sold over $1 Million with the highest sale price in Marabella in Jacksonville Beach for $2,300,000 with 5315 square feet, 4 bedrooms 4 baths oceanfront.  Compared to 2014, with 19 condos sold for over $1 Million and the highest price was for a similar unit in Marabella for $2,400,000.

 There were 12 Vacant Land sales over $1 Million for single family residences in 2015 with the highest price being on Neck Road in Ponte Vedra Beach for $3,400,000 compared to the 13 vacant land sales for single family in 2014 and the most expensive was $3,600,000 for oceanfront in Ponte Vedra Beach.

What trends do you see changing in the coming year?

There will be a continued focus on “InFill Building and Development”, in other words the tear down and rebuild of existing single family homes that have aged and the highest and best use of the land is now worth more than the structure.  The value in the land closest to the Beaches and to the Intra-coastal waterway and St. Johns Riverfront still have great demand and low inventory. 

How would you characterize the luxury real estate market in Northeast Florida right now?

It is HOT and getting HOTTER as the above statistics demonstrate and with more than 1000 people moving to Florida every day, (StateofFlorida.com)  the likelihood of very wealthy people just discovering the taxes, schools, and quality of life is not going to change too quickly.  We are seeing large production builders jumping confidently into the luxury market not fearing a lack of buyers and also building on spec homes in Nocatee, Pablo Creek Preserve and Atlantic Beach include Toll Brothers, ICI, Pineapple Corp. And ever popular Arthur Rutenberg, now creating a new home on DIEGO ISLAND just south of Palencia while they continue to build in the final phase of Palencia called Costa Del Sol.

Do you see “hidden gems” locations that are under the radar that buyers should consider

in searching for a luxury property?

 Definitely along the St. Johns Riverfront and in Mandarin you will find new custom luxury homes being built by Glen Layton Homes, Collier Classic Homes of Ponte Vedra Inc., Browdy & Browdy Inc, Castle Ridge Builders Inc. and Hovis Custom Builders Inc. Popular custom builders are continuing to do well in communities like Pablo Creek Preserve, Atlantic Beach Country Club. Palencia.  Ponte Vedra Beach still continues to demonstrate a ceaseless penchant for new luxury home construction with Aurora Homes, Arthur Rutenberg, C.F. Knight,Inc., Collier Classic Homes, Frank Gamel Construction Co., McCumber Homes, Morales Construction, Inspired Homes, LLC, Satilla, Inc., Crew Contractors, LLC,  Brandon Construction,  where these builders pulled 12 new home permits since January 1, 2015 along Ponte Vedra Boulevard.

What gives you concern and what gives you optimism about the luxury property market?

 Scarcity of land and location limits where a luxury homes can be built. The demand is high at this time and sometimes the right property is not on the market at the time the buyer is willing to buy forcing them to go to another area of Florida.  That said, we will continue to be in a seller’s market cycle (low inventory plus rising prices) for a few years yet to come.

What advice would you give to someone who is in the market for a home or investment in the high end property market?

 Research your builder carefully whether the home is new construction or a resale. Let me as your professional REALTOR help advise you. Your choice of home inspectors is also critical as not all are qualified to evaluate luxury homes.  You may need multiple inspectors such as roofing contractors, HVAC specialists, Electrical and Plumbing contractors, Structural Engineers, Interior Designers, Architects, Real Estate Attorneys,  As a certified new home specialist I can help you navigate the process of building a new home, site selection, builder selection, costs, material and finish selections.

Author: Kathleen Floryan,  Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS) is a Broker Associate with Ponte Vedra Club Realty, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 The Oldest Real Estate Company in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The statistics included in this article are deemed reliabile but not guaranteed and were obtained by the author's research of the NE FL Multiple List System as of  1/1/2016.