Make us your home page
Instagram

New housing starts in Tampa Bay rise 26 percent

Tampa Bay area home builders have pounded a lot more nails so far this year.

New housing starts rose 26.8 percent in the first quarter, according to Tampa's Metrostudy, a national company that tracks the construction industry. Local builders started 1,040 homes between January and March compared to 820 last year.

The quarterly results are encouraging and continue to point to an improving economy, said Tony Polito, a housing consultant with Metrostudy. He believes the worst of the housing crisis has passed and attributed the increase to falling unemployment.

"The improvement in new housing starts mirrored the improvement in the Tampa job market," he said.

The bay area's low for housing starts — 727 — occurred in the first quarter of 2009. Builders ended 2011 with 3,981 new starts in the bay area. Polito projects the figure to rise between 5 and 15 percent in 2012.

Steve Kempton, west Florida president of national builder Taylor Morrison Homes, attributed the uptick to increased consumer confidence and an improving housing market. The firm's starts rose 35 percent in the first quarter.

"People are getting off the sidelines," he said. "We're also seeing price appreciation in some communities. It's creating a buzz in the housing market.''

Although starts are up, builders aren't building up inventory homes as they did during the boom. But they are preparing for brighter days. Builders have been buying failed subdivisions in anticipation of increased sales in the next two years.

Jeff Thorson, Tampa division president for William Ryan Homes, said his company's starts jumped about 40 percent in the first quarter. He is optimistic that business will continue to improve.

"Instead of it just being a drip, it's a steady drip," he said. "We're hoping it continues."

Mark Puente can be reached at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

.FAST FACTS

Quarterly results

Housing starts in the Tampa Bay area since 2009, by quarters.

2009-1Q727
2009-2Q885
2009-3Q1,015
2009-4Q830
2010-1Q956
2010-2Q1,148
2010-3Q1,133
2010-4Q846
2011-1Q820
2011-2Q1,038
2011-3Q1,158
2011-4Q995
2012-1Q1,040

Source:

Metrostudy

New housing starts in Tampa Bay rise 26 percent 04/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Qatar Airways seeks to buy a stake in American Airlines

    Airlines

    NEW YORK — State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, triggering U.S. antitrust oversight of deals that size.

    In this file photo, a new Qatar Airways Airbus A350 approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, triggering U.S. antitrust oversight over deals of such size. 
[AP file photo]
  2. Who's best global airline? Qatar Airways takes No. 1 spot but Delta tops U.S. carriers

    Airlines

    The good news? Delta Airlines tops all U.S. airlines in a new Skytrax global airline passenger satisfaction survey of the world's best airlines. The bad news? At No. 32, Delta still ranks behind dozens of Middle East, Asian and some European airlines. For Tampa International Airport and the major airlines that operate …

    Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at Tampa International Airport, improved its customer satisfaction rating among global airlines in a recent survey.
[Times file photo]
  3. Vinoy resort will ask St. Petersburg voters to approve new parking garage (with tennis courts on top)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment and part of that plan calls for building a new one-story parking garage over eight existing tennis courts.

    The Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment. The Vinoy wants to build a one-story parking garage as part of that project, in place of eight existing tennis courts. The tennis courts would be moved on top of the garage, which would hold 270 parking spots. But the Vinoy needs St. Petersburg voters to approve the project in a November referendum. This is an artists' rendering of the new garage from the street. [Courtesy of Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club]
  4. House committee passes Florida-sponsored flood insurance bill

    Banking

    The House Financial Services Committee pushed through a Florida-sponsored bill intended to cut flood insurance costs. If passed, the bipartisan bill would help create a marketplace for private flood insurance.

    A House committee passed a Florida-sponsored bill meant to lower flood insurance rates.
[Times file photo]
  5. 3 new restaurants open: Deccan Spice Indian food, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, the Cake Shop

    Food & Dining

    DECCAN SPICE

    Deccan Spice has opened at 2325 Ulmerton Road, in what used to be the elegant and vast Grand Siam space in Feather Sound. It's getting high marks so far for its traditional Indian lunch buffet, and offers a range of southern Indian dishes (vadas and dosas and idlis, oh my) seldom seen …

    Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery serves wraps, acai bowls, smoothies and juices and plant-based baked goods like strawberry cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Charles Rumph.