Thursday, October 18, 2018
Business

How will Tampa Bay home prices, sales fare in 2018?

With data on millions of homes nationwide, the folks at Realtor.com think they have a pretty good idea of how the real estate market is doing.

So here’s their prediction for the Tampa Bay area in 2018:

Sales, up 1.3 percent.

Prices, up 6 percent.

That’s not as good as in 2016 or even in the first part of this year. But it’s certainly not bad.

"Tampa Bay is not expected to have incredibly brisk sales growth but 1.3 percent is a pretty healthy market from the sales side," Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist, said in a phone interview Tuesday from New York. "Price growth is slower than you’ve probably seen in the last year but it’s still faster than normal."

Among the nation’s top 100 housing markets for 2018, Tampa Bay ranks 29th — below Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Sarasota but above Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

"Even though (several Florida markets) ranked ahead," Hale said, "we’re talking about fractions of a percentage so it’s really not that big of a difference. The whole Florida area is expected to do quite well."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa Bay home prices in 2016 saw biggest gain in six years but will 2017 be as strong?

For its 2018 housing forecast released today, realtor.com — an online company that operates under license from the National Association of Realtors — rated the top 100 markets according to factors including employment growth, household growth and unemployment. In all categories, Tampa Bay fares considerably better than the national average.

The one category in which the bay area especially shines is new-home starts, predicted to soar by more than 20 percent next year. That would ease one of the biggest constraints on the local real estate market — a shortage of homes for sale.

"It will help increase inventory because it creates new homes for existing homeowners to trade up to and frees up existing homes," Hale said.

Realtor.com’s predictions for 2018 sound about right to Tampa Bay brokers.

"That 1.3 percent (sales growth) will probably be some new construction," said Alex Jansen of Coastal Properties Group International in Clearwater Beach. "Builders are trying to catch up but it’s tough because they don’t want to get caught where they were 10 years ago with a whole bunch of inventory."

With Pinellas County nearly built out, most of the bay area’s new houses are going up in southern Hillsborough and southern Pasco where land is still relatively cheap. For the three months ended in September, housing starts in those counties jumped nearly 20 percent year-over-year.

Jansen’s firm deals mostly in existing homes, a market that continues to frustrate sellers, buyers and agents alike. Many owners with desirable homes don’t want to sell for fear they would have no place else to go.

"It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg," Jansen said. "(Sellers) typically want to upgrade but they just can’t find a good replacement so they sit tight. We hear it all the time, ‘Well, if you find a buyer let me know but I don’t want to put my house on the market because I don’t want to be homeless.’"

That scant supply of homes could cause prices to "creep up" more than realtor.com predicts, says David Bennett, president of the Pinellas Realtor Organization. But even though it’s a good time to sell, owners might have no choice but to stay put.

"With the inventory available, we’re all kind of captive in our homes right now," Bennett said. "It used to be that if you sold one home and had to stay in an apartment for a month or two until the next home closed, you could do that. But the demand for apartments is just as high."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa Bay market ‘healthiest in 10 years’ as home prices continue to soar

Kurt Gleeson, managing broker of the South Tampa office of Premier Sotheby’s International, doesn’t expect the shortages to last much longer.

"I see it more as a short-term scenario in light of the projected growth in Tampa (Bay)," he said.

The biggest demand will continue to be for "moderately priced homes" — those under $300,000 in most places but in the $500,000 to $800,000 range in expensive South Tampa.

"And there’s still demand for homes in the million dollar price point with the relocation of executives and other high net worth individuals," Gleeson said.

Jansen, on the Pinellas side of the bay, agrees.

"The existing high-end home market is the best it’s been that I can remember," he said. "The volume is very strong right now; there are just a lot of million-plus sales coming down the pike."

On Tuesday afternoon, one of Jansen’s agents, Kerryn Ellson, was showing a home in Clearwater’s Island Estates to a couple moving from Chicago.

Priced at $2.25 million, it fit some of their must-haves: A wide-open water view. Plenty of room for a boat.

But they said it seemed a bit small at 4,000 square feet.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] pr (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

Comments
Attorney Mark Stopa’s foreclosure cases are halted but clients’ checks are being cashed

Attorney Mark Stopa’s foreclosure cases are halted but clients’ checks are being cashed

TAMPA — A bankruptcy judge has ordered a temporary halt to all state and appellate court proceedings in which suspended foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa and his former law firm are counsel of record.The emergency order, effective until Nov. 6,...
Published: 10/18/18
HSN to cut hundreds of workers as it merges with QVC under new ‘QXH’ business unit

HSN to cut hundreds of workers as it merges with QVC under new ‘QXH’ business unit

ST. PETERSBURG — Hundreds of HSN employees are losing their jobs as their parent company combines the local shopping network with long-time rival QVC under one operation with shared resources.HSN and QVC will maintain their brand identities, but are ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
After hauling away nearly 1,000 tons of dead fish, Pinellas County sees Red Tide scourge easing

After hauling away nearly 1,000 tons of dead fish, Pinellas County sees Red Tide scourge easing

Pinellas County is nearing 1,000 tons of total collected dead fish since Red Tide exploded into the Gulf coast last month. But based on an update to local tourism officials Wednesday, the smelly situation has improved."We are in a good place with win...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Man files suit against Diocese of St. Petersburg saying a Tampa priest sexually abused him in the 1980s

Man files suit against Diocese of St. Petersburg saying a Tampa priest sexually abused him in the 1980s

ST. PETERSBURG — A former parishioner of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa, now a lawyer and magistrate in the Virginia Supreme Court, has filed suit against the Diocese of St. Petersburg alleging that he was sexually abused as a child by a no...
Published: 10/17/18
Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

MONTREAL (AP) — Ian Power was among the first to buy legal recreational marijuana in Canada but he has no plans to smoke it. He plans to frame it.Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began earl...
Published: 10/17/18
They’ve met 475 Tuesdays in a row to help real estate pros rebound from the housing crash

They’ve met 475 Tuesdays in a row to help real estate pros rebound from the housing crash

TAMPA — A decade ago this fall, the U.S. economy was in crisis. The investment firm Lehman Brothers collapsed in the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Major banks were about to fail. The stock market plunged. And in Florida, "real estate stopped co...
Published: 10/17/18
Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

ST. PETERSBURGDr. BBQ needed a beer. Mission accomplished: A sip of Green Bench’s Dr. BBQ Pale Lager dispatched, he was ready to start the tour. See that teal tufted couch against that wall? It’s like something from Girl & the Goat in Chicago. The wo...
Published: 10/17/18
Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

It can be tough to figure out why insurance companies charge some more than others for auto coverage. But a recent analysis by the Consumer Federation of America suggests that a driver’s neighborhood could be a factor. The analysis, released Monday, ...
Published: 10/17/18
As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

Before the midterm elections heated up, dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress.Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmac...
Published: 10/17/18
Mum’s the word but Murman’s a player in departure of Glazer Children’s Museum leader

Mum’s the word but Murman’s a player in departure of Glazer Children’s Museum leader

TAMPA — Jennifer Stancil was looking forward to Halloween and the role she would play in a new downtown event celebrating the spooky holiday."WE ARE SO EXCITED to be a partner with the Riverwalk for Halloween," Stancil, president and chief executive ...
Published: 10/17/18