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Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay housing prices among most likely to continue falling into 2011: Report

Forsalesignsbillserne Wake up and good morning. So much for the traditional spin that the economy will technically emerge from the recession later this year and modest growth will return in 2010. Now we hear that serious economic concerns, at least for some parts of the country that include the Tampa Bay area, will push well into 2011.

The big worry: That housing prices here are not bottoming out this year or even next, and are very likely to continue dropping into early 2011. At least. (Photo: Bill Serne of the St. Petersburg Times.)

So says mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc., which analyzes the national real estate market every quarter and projects pricing trends two years into the future. Tampa Bay is one of 15 large metro areas PMI says has a "99 percent" probability of facing still lower housing prices in 2011. In addition to Tampa Bay, metropolitan areas tagged with the "99 percent" include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Jacksonville in Florida; Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Sacramento and San Diego in California; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Providence, R.I.; and Detroit. Here's a more complete story from Bloomberg News.

Nationwide, home prices may fall in more than half of the largest U.S. cities through the first quarter of 2011 as unemployment and foreclosures rise, PMI said in a newly released report. The Florida outlook is especially nasty.

Looking for those larger metro areas least likely to be affected by further housing price declines? Try Nashville, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C.; St. Louis or most of the bigger cities in Texas.

But the PMI report warns that as many as 324 -- approximately 85 percent -- of the nation's 381 larger metro areas are now facing increased risk of lower home prices in 2011. The insurer compiles its “market risk” index from income, interest-rate, home-price and affordability data going back to the early 1980s.

Forget swine flu. We've been looking at the lesser of the nasty pandemics. You can't start any substantive economic rebound until regional home prices stabilize.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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