Florida Home Sales Rise, Alachua County Follows Suit


Greta Rice, director of sales and marketing for Tioga Realty, explains the layout for Town of Tioga and how it will be expanding for the next 15 to 20 years. (Photos by Keran Billaud/WUFT News)

Recent statistics show the housing market in Alachua County is bouncing back from the start of the nation’s recession in 2007.

In Florida, single-family home sales grew 12.5 percent in August compared to the same time period one year ago.

In Alachua County, the growth doubled, with a 23 percent increase in closed sales for single-family homes, according to a Florida Realtors report.

Luis Diaz, co-founder of Town of Tioga, said builders have no shortage of work now.

“We’re starting to see the real bulk of the buyers coming in and taking advantage seeing that interest rates are going to start creeping up in the next few years,” Diaz said.

With increased demand and closed sales rising, Greta Rice, president of Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors, said the new housing inventory has decreased.

“It’s causing prices to rise and opportunities for people to get more bang for their buck,” Rice said.

Not all houses are being sold like the rest. Single-family homes ranging in value from $600,000 to $1 million stay on the market for about twice as long as less-expensive houses, according to an August report from Florida Realtors.

“(It’s) not to the point whereby it’s easy to obtain a mortgage like it was in 2007, but it is getting easier,” Rice said.

Builders have close to 300 acres to build on at Town of Tioga within the next 15 to 20 years to try to meet the apparent demand.

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Town of Tioga houses sell before they are built. The demand for new homes has increased in recent years.

Bulldozers work constantly to clear more land, as builders race against time from building one house to the next.

A worker cuts large limbs and works the machinery as Tioga continues to clear land. Town of Tioga has about 300 acres to build on during the next 15 to 20 years, said Greta Rice, director of sales and marketing for Tioga Realty.

William Addison, 27, works on a house in the Gainesville heat Friday afternoon.

William Addison, 27, throws out excess house construction materials Friday afternoon.

About Kéran Billaud

Keran is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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