Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa Bay home sales don't match Florida's 34% boost in Sept.

Florida home sales rose 34 percent in September compared with a year earlier, but Tampa Bay didn't share in that upsurge.

Tampa Bay Realtors reported a year-over-year sales increase of only 11 percent, far below sales spurts of 41 percent in Orlando and 42 percent in Sarasota.

Tampa Bay's underperformance left Realtors scurrying for answers. Earlier in the year, economists predicted the Nov. 30 deadline to use an $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit would rev up sales in late summer and fall.

About 2,410 homes sold in September in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties. A year earlier, 2,174 homes changed hands.

Pinellas single-family home sales matched the state average, but the bay area's performance was dragged down by below-average activity in the other counties. But even Pinellas buyers were growing scarcer in September.

"We've heard appraisals didn't come in, banks dragged their feet too long and buyers got tired of waiting as reasons for the decline," the Pinellas Realtor Organization's Ann Guiberson said in a statement.

She could be channeling St. Petersburg Realtor Frank Malowany.

A specialist in the sale of million-dollar homes with Smith & Associates Real Estate, he grits his teeth as banks reject seven-figure, all-cash purchase offers for waterfront mansions facing foreclosure. What's worse, banks can take three to six months to decide.

"Nothing's smooth. If you're dying in a bed with cancer maybe they'll talk to you. Even then it's hard," Malowany said. "And we're talking cash buyers."

Nationally, home sales rose 9.2 percent from a year earlier, an increase that won guarded praise from the National Association of Realtors.

"Much of the momentum is from people responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home," said Lawrence Yun, economist with the national Realtor group.

Contrary to what Yun said, economists reported this week that the credit hasn't had a desired ripple effect by stimulating move-up home purchases.

Tampa Bay's median home price dipped nearly 5 percent from August to September, from $144,600 to $137,800. But prices have floated in a narrow range on both sides of $140,000 for most of this year, leading some to call a home price bottom.

A gathering of housing industry economists in Washington this week predicted that national home prices — as well as those in Tampa Bay — would drop a bit further as another wave of foreclosure homes enters the market over the next six to eight months.

Robert Denk, a forecaster with the National Association of Home Builders, rated Florida as one of the most overbuilt markets in the country and described a "long road back to normal."

Even September home prices might not tell buyers and sellers what's happening on the ground today, said Amy Crews Cutts, economist with government-backed mortgage lender Freddie Mac.

That's because people who closed on homes in September probably signed purchase contracts in July and August. That makes it hard, in a declining market, to know what a home's worth in October, she said.

If there has been one area of improvement, it has been in the number of surplus homes on the market.

The inventory of homes for sale in and around Tampa — 14,433 — declined to its lowest level since spring 2006. In Pinellas, about 12,773 homes were listed for sale in September, down 36 percent from the 20,053 homes for sale a year earlier.

"We still have over 6,000 single-family listings on the market, when 3,000 to 4,000 would indicate a more balanced market as we had from 2001 through 2003," Guiberson said.

James Thorner can be reached at jthorner@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3313.

By the numbers

Tampa Bay

housing market

-28% Annual change in housing inventory*

8.5 Supply of housing at current sales rate, in months*

-14%

Single-family home price change since September 2008

11.7%

Jobless rate

14% Mortgage

delinquency rate (at least 90+ days late in August)

*Hillsborough, Pinellas and part of east Pasco only

Sources: Florida Association of Realtors, U.S. Labor Department, First American CoreLogic, Pinellas Realtor Organization, Greater Tampa Association of Realtors

Only slightly brighter

Sales of existing Tampa Bay

single-family homes:



Month
Homes soldMedian price
September 20092,410$137,800
August 20092,370$144,600
September 20082,174$160,500

Source: Florida Association of Realtors

Tampa Bay home sales don't match Florida's 34% boost in Sept. 10/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains

    Banking

    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]
  2. Florida GDP growth in first quarter 2017 ranks 21st among states, still outpacing U.S.

    Economic Development

    Florida's gross domestic product or GDP rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, slightly faster than the nation's growth of 1.2 percent and placing Florida 21st among the states for growth rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Not too hot. Not too cold.

    These Jackson Square Townhomes began hitting the west Hillsborough County market late last year and continued to be sold into the first quarter of 2017. The real estate sector was the biggest driver of Florida's gross domestic product, which rose 1.4 percent in the first quartrer of 2017.  [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  3. A new app will help you find your favorite Tampa Bay food trucks

    Food & Dining

    What's new: Food tech

    Local food businesses are embracing new technologies and partnerships to bring us extra deliciousness.

    Michael Blasco of Tampa Bay Food Trucks says that everyone always asked about an app to help find their favorite food trucks. There is, available for iPhones and Droids.
  4. Another Pinellas foreclosure auction fools bidders, raises questions

    Real Estate

    For the second time in six weeks, a company connected to lawyer Roy C. Skelton stood poised to profit from a Pinellas County foreclosure auction that confused even experienced real estate investors.

    A Palm Harbor company bid  $112,300 for  this Largo townhome at a foreclosure auction July 21 not realizing the auction involved a second mortgage, connected to lawyer and  real estate investor Roy Skelton -- and that the bank could still foreclose on the  first mortgage.
[SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN   |   Times]
  5. Clearwater-based USAmeriBank acquired by New Jersey bank in $816 million deal

    Banking

    CLEARWATER — USAmeriBancorp, Inc., based in Clearwater, is being acquired by New Jersey's Valley National Bancorp in an $816 million deal, it was announced today.

    Joe Chillura, CEO of USAmeribank, shown inside a branch in Ybor City in this file photo.
[KATHLEEN FLYNN l Times]