Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

The price of homes in the Tampa Bay area continues to soar

Tampa Bay home prices continued to soar in October, with Hillsborough County recording its biggest year-over-year gain since January.

Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties also showed dramatic increases as buyers vied for an exceedingly tight supply of single-family homes — Pasco had less than a three-month inventory.

And even though interest rates have risen slightly since the presidential election, there is little sign the market is slowing down.

"We haven't noticed any impact yet,'' said Rachel Sartain, managing broker at Keller Williams Realty St. Petersburg. In fact, she said, the possibility of rates going higher will "hopefully increase activity'' by spurring people to buy now.

Pasco had the biggest jump in single-family home prices, up 17.4 percent from October a year ago to $179,900. Hillsborough, meanwhile, had its biggest gain in nine months, up nearly 16 percent to a median of $220,000.

In Pinellas, prices rose nearly 15 percent, to $206,500, and in Hernando, they were up nearly 13 percent, to $141,500.

With demand still high — and prices to match — near downtown St. Petersburg, Sartain said more buyers are looking farther north, in the 33702 and 33703 ZIP Code areas, where houses are more affordable.

"It's the 4th and 9th Street corridors,'' she said. "In the $150,000 to $250,000 price range, that's where we're seeing absorption rates as low as two to three months.''

Related: How long can the good times roll for Tampa Bay's housing market for the bubble pops?

At the other end of the spectrum, the top price paid in October for a bay area home — and the most paid for any single-family house in three years — was $6.875 million for a six-bedroom contemporary estate in Safety Harbor overlooking Old Tampa Bay.

Although the 10 gated acres were bought in the name of a trust, the borrowers on the $4 million mortgage loan are Pers and Svetlana Wickstrom. He is CEO of several drug and alcohol rehabilitation in programs in Michigan, including the 200-bed Best Drug Rehabilitation.

In Hillsborough, October's priciest transaction was a 5,000-square foot waterfront house in Tampa's Sunset Park area that sold for $2.857 million.

The Coldwell Banker listing agents, Mike Hughes and Jeff Shelton, were the selling agents on two other mega-deals in Tampa this year — the $6.625 million sale of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coach Greg Schiano's home and the $4.5 million sale of a house purchased as a tear-down.

"The 2016 luxury market in South Tampa has been very active,'' Hughes said. "With the international flights increasing and the wonderful things our mayor is doing — it's multiple things that keep increasing values in South Tampa.''

Meanwhile, Hughes said, the demand for homes under $500,000 has been "extremely active,'' especially from buyers who plan to raze and build new.

"That stuff really flies off the shelves,'' he said. "South Tampa land value really is in the $300,000 to $400,000 range for average (new) homes of $900,000 to a million.''

In Pasco's Trinity area, the Champions Club golf course community continued to be popular, with a home there selling for $912,532 in October's priciest transaction. And in Hernando, a mansion on 20-plus acres in Brooksville sold for $825,000.

Other takeaways from the October figures:

•The median time from listing to contract dropped in all four counties — just 29 days in Pinellas, 31 days in Pasco, 34 days in Hillsborough and 42 days in Hernando.

•Sellers in Hillsborough County received 97.3 percent of their asking price; in the other three counties they got 96 percent.

•Prices of condos and townhomes showed year-over-year increases, up 16.4 percent in Pinellas to $145,000 and up 13.4 percent in Hillsborough to $144,000.

For Florida as a whole, the median price of a single family home in October rose 11.7 percent to $220,000 while the price of a condo or townhome was up 8 percent to $161,000.

"Florida's housing market continues to experience fewer sales of distressed properties and a restricted supply of homes for sale," said Matey Veissi, president of Florida Realtors. "When you look at the state's tight inventory of homes and a decline in the median time it takes for a home to sell, it shows buyers are still in the market. However, they're not finding as many potential options as they'd like."

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642 Follow @susanskate

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