Make us your home page
Instagram

Slow housing recovery still looms for bay area

Tampa Bay's housing market is recovering but is about a year behind other hard-hit regions across the country.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, told about 75 Realtors on Thursday that the bay area resembles markets like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas that bottomed out last year.

He pointed to the 14.2 percent jump in year-to-date sales and the housing inventory of 6.2 months, down from 20 months a few years ago. The lower the supply, the more robust the market.

"It is a market that appears to be improving," Yun said at the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. "Buyers are much more active here. A genuine demand is appearing."

But the average price, Yun cautioned, of $159,227 is still down 7 percent from a year ago. The prices should rise as long as the supply remains relatively low, he added.

The declining inventory was good news to the 75 agents.

"This is almost back to a normal market of 4.5 months (supply)," said Jim Selvey, president of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. "It's a great improvement."

Despite the Sunshine State's lackluster economy, Yun offered optimism. Although Florida lost residents the past few years, he predicted thousands of retiring baby boomers will return the next few years. The southward migration, he said, is inevitable.

"A good chunk of baby boomers don't want to shovel snow," he said.

Nationally, he predicted sales of previously occupied homes to rise 4 percent this year. But the entire market could suffer greatly, he said, if a new federal initiative requires borrowers to pay more cash up front when getting the cheapest mortgages and interest rates.

Borrowers who don't meet certain income and debt ratios could be required to have a 20 percent down payment. The measure, which aims to prevent another foreclosure crisis, could be finalized in a year.

Yun said 60 percent of all potential buyers would be disqualified if they needed a 20 percent down payment. Tougher underwriting standards have solved many of the issues that led to the foreclosure crisis, he added.

Borrowers are being examined more closely, and only 1.2 percent of loans issued since 2009 have defaulted, Yun said.

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markapuente.

Slow housing recovery still looms for bay area 06/09/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 9, 2011 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  2. Bass Pro acquires Cabela's for $4 billion

    Retail

    Bass Pro Shops has acquired competitor Cabela's for a reported $4 billion. Bass Pro indicated it is seeking to appeal to all "outdoor enthusiasts" with the move, roping in hunting customers from Cabela's.

    Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's for $4 billion, Bass Pro announced Tuesday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  4. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  5. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]