Increase in Tampa Bay's home values ranks among top 10 in metro areas

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Home prices in the Tampa Bay area rose 7 percent in the past year, enough to place this metro area in the top 10 cities for appreciation of at least one slice of the housing market. So says a new survey by real estate site Owners.com that examined median prices for three-bedroom, single-family homes in 25 housing markets in the August-September period of 2015 compared with a year ago.

Tampa Bay ranked 10th and was the third Florida city to make the top 10 list. Orlando ranked No. 2 with an 11.6 percent appreciation, and Miami came in at No. 3 at 11 percent. Denver's heated housing market was tops at 11.9 percent, while the New York metro area came in last with a 6.7 percent drop in value. It was the only metro among the 25 to report a decline.

Owners.com president Steve Udelson said the findings show secondary markets such as Denver and the Florida metros benefited from the overall housing recovery with price gains significantly above larger markets. "With the spring real estate season around the corner, consumers who are planning to be in the market next year will want to keep an eye on these markets to make savvy buying or selling decisions," he stated.

Tampa Bay's 7 percent price bump means a median three-bedroom home in the area is rising in value faster than area wages. That increases the pressure on first-time buyers and others who find they may have to commit more of their household income when considering a housing purchase. The good news is that mortgage rates remain low, which helps housing affordability.

The 25 markets surveyed were chosen for having the highest existing single-family home transaction volumes in September 2015. Tampa Bay reported a 60 percent increase in transaction volume, the highest among the 25 metros.

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