On this edition of Market Focus we are going to let you in on the biggest secret of the Southeast…why biggest, you ask? Believe it or not, Jacksonville is the largest city by landmass in the entire United States! What is even more impressive are the number of incredible things it offers incoming assignees. This city has beautiful white sand beaches, a gorgeous Riverwalk, and also the largest urban park system in the country. Pair that with an exciting arts scene, year-round outdoor activities, and wonderful fresh seafood and it’s easy to see why those that move here, stay here.
Similar to most major markets, the rental market in Jacksonville is competitive. Houses and apartments can and do go quickly. The upside is that many of these properties do not skimp on amenities. Plenty of rental houses offer swimming pools and apartment complexes especially come with great amenities like pools, athletic facilities, and social common areas. Rental rates vary, but as a general rule properties closer to the water and properties with a pool generally mean higher rental costs.
Where to Live
Single assignees that work downtown tend to live in apartments at Riverside, mainly to be within walking distance of their offices. The area hosts a wonderful waterfront park and river walk, as well as a vibrant social scene (1-bedrooms from $1,700 USD/month). Assignees that don’t work in the business district tend to gravitate towards Deerwood, Bay Meadows, and St. John’s Town Center (1-bedrooms from $1,500 USD/month).
Most assignees with families look to live in St. John’s County, home to the highest-rated school districts in Florida (3-bedrooms from $2,700 USD/month). Nocatee is another wonderful option for families – a community with resort style amenities that include a waterpark, tennis courts, and golf courses (3-bedrooms from $3,000 USD/month).
In terms of navigating the city, it is a must to have a car in Jacksonville. However, many residents find that the city is well planned, and most neighborhoods are centrally located to shopping areas and can be just minutes from the beach. Another insider tip is that many residents purchase golf carts to get out and about. They can be licensed, and many shopping centers, schools, and recreation areas even have golf cart parking.
Many assignees hear Florida and think heat and humidity, but they would be surprised to learn that Jacksonville can be quite temperate and seasonal. The weather can be cool from mid-December through February, warm from March through June, hot July through September, and warm again October through mid-December.
Locals enjoy the year-round art festivals by the St. John’s River and fishing at the Jacksonville Beach Pier. The Jax Air Show is a highlight each fall and is home to the world-famous Blue Angels!
If the beach piques your interest, you have plenty of options! The small beach town areas of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are full of beach cruisers, roller bladers, and golf carts. Assignees love that you can feel like you’re on vacation – every day!
Named a “Surprising Foodie City to Visit Right Now” by Forbes Magazine, Jacksonville has tons to offer to satisfy any craving. Needless to say, a city located by both the sea and the largest river in Florida is going to have spectacular seafood offerings. If you’re not a seafood person, the city still offers a variety of options; from hole-in-the-wall to fine dining. Being home to lots of transplants will give you lots of cultures to explore as well. Jax is home to wonderful Thai, Mexican, BBQ, Indian, and Gullah cuisine.