Sales of single-family homes dropped sharply in Pinellas and Pasco counties in June as prices rose slightly throughout the Tampa Bay area.
The local figures reflect a national trend as many sellers find it hard to close deals despite low mortgage rates and a shortage of available homes.
"Either a strong pent-up demand will show in the upcoming months, or there is a lack of confidence that is keeping buyers from this major expenditure,'' Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement. "It's too soon to know how much of a pullback is related to the reduction in the homeowner tax incentive'' — new limits on the amount of mortgage interest that is deductible.
According to figures released Tuesday by Florida Realtors, Pasco had the biggest decline in house sales in June, down nearly 8 percent from the same month a year ago. Prices rose 3.8 percent, to a median of $230,000.
Here's how other bay area counties fared:
Pinellas — Sales down 7.4 percent, prices up 3.2 percent to a median of $275,000.
Hillsbrough — Sales up 3.2 percent, prices down about 1 percent.
Hernando — Sales up 11.3 percent, prices up 5.8 percent to a median of $179,900.
The supply of available houses in all four counties was less than a year ago as the nation remains in the midst of a housing shortage, especially of moderately priced homes.
"Imbalance persists for mid- to lower-priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up homes prices,'' Yun said. Mortgage rates, though, dropped in June and remain historically low at about 3.9 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
The top price paid for a Tampa Bay home in June was $6 million for a six-bedroom, three-bath house on Davis Islands overlooking Hillsborough Bay. Amenities include a 500-plus bottle wine cellar.
Pinellas had only one of the 10 most expensive homes sold in June — a four-bedroom, four-bath house in Clearwater that went for $2.7 million. With its miles of beach and bayfront, Pinellas typically has many of the priciest home sales in the bay area.
In Trinity's Champions Club golf community, a four-bedroom, four-bath house still under construction sold for $1.3 million to become Pasco's top sale of the month. And in Hernando, a buyer paid $590,000 for a five-bedroom, four-bath house in Brooksville's Southern Hills Planation area.
Statewide, sales of single-family homes dipped 1.9 percent while prices rose 3.8 percent to a median of $270,000.
Nationally, sales of existing homes — condos and townhomes as well as houses — dropped 2.2 percent in June from the same month a year earlier. The median price hit an all-time high of $285,700, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier and the 88th straight month of year-over-year gains.
How Tampa Bay house prices compare*
Metro Area - Median Price - Percent Change
Tampa Bay - $250,000 - down 1.6%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers - $255,006 - up 2%
Gainesville - $250,000 - up 9.6%
Lakeland-Winter Haven - $211,993 - up 8.7%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach - $365,000 - up 1.4%
Naples-Marco Island - $430,000 - down 5.5%
Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port - $302,745 - up 4.4%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford - $280,000 - up 2.9%
Panama City - $229,684 - up 0.3%
Tallahassee - $235,000 - up 6.8%
The Villages - $244,900 - down 4%
* June prices with change from June 2018
Source: Florida Realtors
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at email@example.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.