St. Johns County facing affordable housing shortage

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St. Johns County continues to be one of the fastest growing in Florida, but that growth has led to a shortage of affordable housing.

According to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, the county’s inventory of available homes is 4.5 months. A healthy market is considered between five and six months.

As demand increases, so does the prices of homes.

NEFAR said the median sales price of homes in the county, year-to-date, was $320,000, which is up 4.8 percent from a year earlier.

Now, some homeowners are turning to upscale trailer parks or modular homes, which are much less expensive than traditional developments.

Coquina Crossing in Elkton is an example of one of those communities.

New homes there start at $120,000.

The affordability is what Sheldon Beasley said drew him to the development.

“It was inexpensive. I’m retired. It just made sense,” Beasley said.

The mobile home community is designed like other master planned communities, with a pool, athletic facilities and other amenities.

“People call them modular homes, they are still a double wide trailer,” Beasley said. “You can see it’s a well-kept community, it’s not a trailer park.”

While there hasn’t been a real push for these types of developments in St. Johns County, Beasley believes that could change as home prices continue to climb.