Sunday, April 22, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay's housing market remains a bargain as nation's home prices climb

Tampa Bay's median home price enjoyed a bump to $175,000, a brisk 12.2 percent annual gain in the second quarter, but those figures reveal a housing market that remains sharply cheaper than many of its peer metro areas in Florida and the Southeast.

The lower price yet higher growth in Tampa Bay marks it as a more affordable market that's still appreciating faster than many similar metros in the state and southern region. That's not only a promising opportunity for home buyers but a marketing message for Tampa Bay economic development leaders to businesses considering relocation or expansion here: There's good bang for the investment buck, especially with mortgage rates still extremely low.

Within the state, Orlando's median price hit $198,000 and Jacksonville cracked the $200,000 marker at $204,500, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro topping the larger Florida markets at $289,900 — all up from a year ago but at slower growth rates than in Tampa Bay.

A strip of Florida's east coast enjoyed some of the faster leaps in housing prices in the country. According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices rose rapidly in the stretch of small cities between Port St. Lucie and Titusville, with the median sales price in those areas rising about 20 percent from a year earlier.

Among major metros in the Southeast, Atlanta's median home price rose 9.2 percent to $181,500. That's $6,500 more than Tampa Bay's median price after a period of years when this Florida housing market was consistently more expensive than Atlanta.

In North Carolina, Charlotte's median price was up 11.3 percent to $211,400, while Raleigh enjoyed a 17.2 percent spurt to $247,900 — reflecting the state capital's ongoing reputation as a go-to place for technology companies, millennials and well-educated workers.

Like Raleigh, some other markets that Tampa Bay likes to compare itself to are getting expensive. In Texas, Austin's median home price hit $271,900, up almost 10 percent on the year. And Nashville homes rose 12.8 percent to $208,500, more than $33,000 above Tampa Bay's comparable price.

Nationally, home prices in the second quarter rose in 163 out of 176 metro areas, continuing their upward trajectory even as economists warn of looming affordability problems and a limited supply of homes for sale.

The median existing single-family home price rose to $229,400 in the second quarter, up 8.2 percent from a year earlier.

"Steady rent increases, the slow rise in mortgage rates and stronger local job markets fueled demand throughout most of the country this spring. While this led to a boost in sales paces not seen since before the downturn, overall supply failed to keep up and pushed prices higher in a majority of metro areas," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

If these price differences across the Southeast metro areas seem substantial, they are. Tampa Bay home prices are rising after a crippling drop during the burst housing bubble.

On a broader map, though, certain metro areas boast median home prices so startlingly high, it's a wonder they will not soon face an exodus. California cities continued to dominate the list of most expensive markets, with San Jose/Silicon Valley commanding a median sales price of $980,000 — or 5.6 times Tampa Bay's price.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18