Make us your home page

Tampa Bay feels echoes of stalled northern, Miami housing markets

One of the reasons behind the housing boom through 2005 was heavy migration into the Tampa Bay area from places like the New York City suburbs, Chicago and Miami.

And one of the reasons homes aren't selling as they should this year is that the pipeline of transplants from these feeder markets is drying up.

Want proof? The drop in home sales the past year in Queens, Suffolk and Nassau counties in New York, the Chicago region and Miami are worse than the sales drop in the Tampa Bay area.

Queens' sales were off 48 percent. Suffolk's drop was 35 percent. The Chicagoland metro area was down 29 percent. So were sales in Nassau. Miami's sales plunged 56 percent.

According to the state-to-state migration numbers published by the U.S. Census for 2004-05, those areas once supplied the top number of transplants to the Tampa Bay area.

Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando and Citrus counties netted nearly 10,000 residents from these regions in 2004-05 alone.

The housing retraction up north suggests that even if people want to move to Tampa or St. Petersburg, many can't cash out of their homes in their old neighborhoods. And that's potentially a lot of cash not making it here: The median sales price in Queens is $539,000, triple that of the Tampa Bay area.

"Going back to 2001 through 2005 we had a huge (number) of homeowners cashing out and moving not just to Florida but to the Carolinas. In the last 24 months, we've seen very few," said L.P. Finn III, whose family owns Coach Real Estate Associates, one of Long Island's largest realty companies.

"Our referrals to fellow brokers in Florida are way off, about 50 percent off.''

Evidence also is accumulating on the Tampa Bay end. The Midwesterners who helped fuel sales along the west coast of Florida from Clearwater to Hernando Beach aren't buying like they used to, Realtors say. The loss of industrial jobs has left many Northern towns full of homes that won't sell.

Chicagoan Lynn Tempera bought a house in Pasco County's Oakstead neighborhood as the housing fever tightened its grip in 2005.

But when she returns on visits to her suburban Chicago haunts, she gets a glaring lesson on why fewer Midwesterners are duplicating her Florida migration.

"My daughter lives in Huntley, Ill. The same houses are still for sale every time I go up there. It's been that way for over a year,'' Tempera said.

The New Yorkers who flooded places like New Tampa and central Pasco County are less plentiful. As recently as two years ago, Rob Hilliker, an executive with Prudential Tropical Realty in Pasco, helped move to Tampa about 200 families from the New York City area. They were employees of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which shifted operations to New Tampa.

But Hilliker said companies are less willing and able to subsidize such moves. Many can't afford to pick up the tab for mortgages on unsold second houses up North.

"We've seen a slowdown," Hilliker said. "Companies are being more conservative.''

Aborted moves are only partly to blame for our housing slump. The oversupply of homes on the market is probably the biggest single cause. It's largely a creation of housing speculators who bought thousands too many homes from builders and bid up prices beyond affordability.

But it doesn't help Tampa to lose thousands of potential home buyers from former feeder cities. On a positive note, Finn sees tentative signs of improving home sales on Long Island. If it continues, he predicts "another influx of buyers" into Florida next winter.

Homebuyers still see better values in Florida than in New York, Finn said. "But they've said, 'Let's put that move off a couple of years.' ''

From feeder

to famished

The top five out-of-state counties from which the Tampa Bay area added residents during a real estate boom in 2004-05 and the net gain in new residents:

1. Suffolk, N.Y.: 2,318

2. Queens, N.Y.: 1,523

3. Nassau, N.Y.: 1,236

4. Cook, Ill.: 1,222

5. Kings, N.Y.: 1,102

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Tampa Bay feels echoes of stalled northern, Miami housing markets 05/03/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 2:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.