Make us your home page

Tampa Bay home sales stumble due to cash and short-sale slowdown

Tampa Bay home sales slid 10 percent last month compared to a year ago, as short sellers and cash buyers continued to exit the market, new multiple listing service data show.

About 2,500 existing single-family homes sold locally in November, down from about 2,800 the year before, the largest year-over-year drop in three years. The median home sold for $157,000, 8 percent higher than in November 2012.

About 300 "short sales" were completed last month for less than the homeowner owes, half as many as in November 2012, accounting for much of the plunge in total sales.

Home price gains have allowed homeowners to regain equity and avoid short sales. About 30 percent of Tampa Bay homes are now "underwater," compared with 45 percent last year, CoreLogic data show.

Recovering prices have also squeezed out investors, with cash deals dropping last month to 40 percent of total sales, the lowest point since early 2012.

The number of conventional home sales in Tampa Bay was actually higher last month than a year before. Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo said that signaled "a continued return to what we would consider a more traditional market."

About 16,620 homes sold across Florida last month, and 4.9 million sold across the country, both of which were about 1 percent fewer than in November 2012. Florida's condo and townhome sales dropped 7 percent over the same time.

The typical winter sales slowdown has been joined this year by other aggravating factors. Though still low, 30-year mortgage rates have risen a full percentage point over the year to 4.5 percent.

Low inventories of good homes for sale — because sellers are asking too much, or are waiting for prices to keep climbing — are stalling potential buyers. And Realtors in Pinellas said "we can't deny" the effect of substantial flood insurance increases on slowing potential home sales.

Drew Harwell can be reached at (727) 893-8252 or

Tampa Bay home sales stumble due to cash and short-sale slowdown 12/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride


    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  2. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]
  3. Daniel Lipton resigns as artistic director of Opera Tampa


    TAMPA — Daniel Lipton has resigned as artistic director of Opera Tampa, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced.

    Daniel Lipton became the artistic director and conductor of Opera Tampa in 2012. Lipton replaced the opera's only previous director, Anton Coppola, who retired. [Times file (2012)]
  4. Throwback Tampa Bay station 102.9 goes from R&B jams to WFLA-AM's conservative talk


    Talk radio station WFLA-AM (970) began simulcasting on 102.9 FM in the Tampa area this morning. 

    Tampa's 102.9 is going from Throwback Tampa Bay to WFLA-AM's news radio.
  5. Bank of Tampa expanding into Sarasota


    TAMPA — The Bank of Tampa is expanding to Sarasota County. It opened a loan office this month in downtown Sarasota at 1858 Ringling Blvd., which will be converted to a full-service branch within the year, the company said in a release Monday.

    The Bank of Tampa is expanding to Sarasota. Charles Murphy, pictured, will lead the Sarasota branch. | [Courtesy of The Bank of Tampa]