All the agents are correct, but from a strickly financial point of view Trulia has a buy vs rent feature on this site and it ranked Jacksonville #8 in the country as the best place to buy over renting. I have the chart on the home page of my website if you want to take a look.
Just know that it's tricky to get financed on many condos. If there is ongoing litigation, or if there are too many renters, or if there are too many people behind on their HOA dues, you may find lenders unwilling to finance you. If you are paying cash, then you can have your pick of condos.
You definitely want to look for a foreclosure. I would avoid the short sales, as they are nothing but heartache. Good luck!
The answer to any buying decision is a very personal one that needs to take into consideration you current financial status, credit scores, lifestyle, and duration you plan on living in the property. As noted by the other response, this is one of the best buyer's markets of our lifetime. It is unlikely we will soon see again the combination of low interest rates, affordable prices, and good selection of condos which make this such a good market for buyers. Condo values in the greater Jacksonville area have declined by as much as 65% since the peak in 2007.
Many of the buyers I am working with are choosing to buy now because they can actually own a condo and pay less each month for a mortgage than they are paying in rent. If you purchase in a desirable area where units rent easily, then the condo could serve as a place to live now and an investment property for the future (if you have to move or decide to purchase a single family home later). By many accounts we are headed for a rental shortage as there aren't many new condo communities being built now and there are a lot more people that need to rent because of their financial situation (they may have been foreclosed on or completed a short sale of their house and can not buy again because of bad credit scores).
If you would like help deciding whether this is a good time for you to buy a condo, please give me a call.
Prudential Network Realty
3535 Highway 17, Suite 10
Fleming Island, FL 32003
Jason Lindsay, REALTOR (in Avondale)
Hope this helps
All the best
Dave & Lisa