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Pinellas home prices soared in November but more houses for sale could mean lower prices

Pinellas County home prices shot up dramatically in November for the second consecutive month while other Tampa Bay counties recorded more modest gains.

There was some good news for buyers — the supply of available homes both locally and nationally continued to increase, a trend that could lead to greater affordability.

"Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation,'' said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

According to figure released today by Florida Realtors, prices for single-family Pinellas homes jumped 12 percent in November to a median of $261,500. The number of sales dropped 4.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Here's how other bay-area counties fared:

Hillsborough -— prices up 3.5 percent to $248,000; sales up 9.7 percent.

Pasco -— prices up about 1 percent to $220,000; sales up 5.4 percent

Hernando — prices up 7.7 percent to $176,900; sales up 7.3 percent

In all but Hernando, the supply of available houses increased by double digits from November a year ago. The increase was especially notable in Hillsborough, where 18 percent more houses were on the market. As buyers have more to choose from, prices could come down.

The top price paid for a bay area home in November was $6.2 million cash for a four-bedroom, six-bath gulf-front house in Redington Beach. That was the second highest sale in Pinellas this year — a house a few doors down sold in June for $7.25 million.

In Tampa's Davis Islands, a buyer paid $2.955 million for a nearly 30-year-old house with less than 4,000 square feet but a full bay view. Given the demand for bayfront homes, houses of that size, price, age and location often are torn down and replaced by larger ones.

Hernando's priciest sale was $1.005 million for Stelluar Acres, an estate with three houses and fully stocked pond on 22 acres in Brooksville. Among the amenities: a wine cellar with room for 3,500 bottles. In Pasco, the top price was $894,000 for a five-bedroom, five-bath house on an oversized lot in the gated Toscana section of Estancia in Wesley Chapel.

Statewide, prices of single-family homes rose 6.3 percent in November to a median of $255,000 while sales rose 3 percent.

Nationally, sales of existing homes — condos and townhomes as well as houses — dropped 7 percent from a year ago November. Prices rose 4.2 percent to $247,200, marking the 81st straight month of year-over-year gains.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.