Duval County

Half of houses in some Jacksonville ZIP codes purchased by investors, map shows

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Investors purchased almost a third of all houses sold in Jacksonville last year, according to data from Redfin.

Action News Jax dug into what that looks like in specific city ZIP codes and found that investors bought more than half the homes in some areas.

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“The 32209 code has been picked on a lot. It seems to be the perfect place for investors to come in and do their thing,” Howard Biggins said.

He lives in 32209 and tells Action News Jax it seems investors are on every street these days.

“You could go three blocks over and you’ll see them working on a project around the corner. They’re buying these properties for little to nothing, doing a little something to them, and they’re jacking the price up on it,” he added.

Biggins worries investors are driving up the cost of homes in Jacksonville, and with demand already high, it’s a one-two punch for some in historically lower-income areas where affordable housing is difficult to find.

“The rent is outrageous for people,” he said. “I personally would like to see them put some type of cap.”

An interactive map on the Washington Post’s website shows the following Jacksonville ZIP codes — ranging from the Westside to the Northside — with the highest percentage of homes bought by investors last year:

1. 54% of homes in 32209

2. 46% of homes in 32208

3. 43% of homes in 32254

Jacksonville realtor Mike Boyle works with investors from all over the world. He says it isn’t necessarily those specific ZIP codes they’re after; it’s where they can get the best deal.

“Last year, if you look at the statistics, you would see this ZIP code was huge. I think now though honestly, it’s spreading a little bit. You see some of these big hedge funds buying all over town,” Boyle said, referring to ZIP code 32209.

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While locals worry about investors driving up the costs of homes, Mark Rosener with the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors points out the silver lining: “It helps revitalize the neighborhoods. Typically, these investors are coming in, they’re buying slightly distressed properties, they’re fixing them up, they’re making them more livable and more up to date and then leasing them out.”

Biggins agrees that investor-bought properties aren’t entirely bad. After all, fixing up homes in the area helps raise property values across the board.

“I would like to see it get better,” Biggins added.