Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Business

Most Tampa Bay homes still worth less than during the boom

Despite a robust real estate market, only 10 percent of Tampa Bay homes have rebounded to their pre-recession peak value, a new report says.

The findings by Trulia, an online real estate database, reinforce those of another recent study. That one found that while Tampa Bay home sellers are enjoying the largest price gains in 10 years, the gains are less than half of what they were in the bubble days of the mid 2000s.

According to the Trulia analysis released today, the bay area isn't alone in its slow recovery among the nation's 100 largest metro areas. Only about a third of all homes nationally have seen their values rebound to what they were before the housing crash.

"You are more likely to encounter a home in the U.S that hasn't recovered than has,'' said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist.

The disparities among some metro areas is stark. Less than 3 percent of homes in Las Vegas, Tucson and Fresno, California have recovered compared to more than 94 percent in Denver, San Francisco and Oklahoma City.

Trulia found the greatest correlation between home values and income growth. San Francisco and other areas with the strongest growth in incomes since the recession have seen the biggest growth in values. That's one of the areas where Tampa Bay falls short, the study found.

From July 2009 to July 2016, the bay area registered a 25 percent increase in jobs, among the highest rates in the country. But incomes grew by only 11 percent, outpaced by 40 of the top 100 metro areas including such Sun Belt competitors as Nashville, Austin and Raleigh.

"When incomes rise, households tend to spend more on housing, which pushes up prices'' and values, McLaughlin said.

In a separate study released last week, RealtyTrac said Tampa Bay home owners who sold during the first quarter of this year realized an average gain of $30,100 more than they originally paid. While that's $12,600 more than at the same time a year ago, it's nearly $45,000 less than at the peak of the boom in 2006.

On the flip side, bay area sellers lost an average of nearly $65,000 in 2011, the worst year locally of the housing crash.

While Tampa Bay home values aren't yet at peak, pre-recession levels, that's not necessarily cause for alarm. Some homes doubled in price during the boom as they were flipped repeatedly, artificially inflating their values.

Today, bay area home prices — and values — are rising but not enough to cause another bust, most experts agree. In March, the median price of a single-family Tampa Bay home rose 9.7 percent compared to a year earlier, a rate considered healthy but not out of control.

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

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