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Tampa Bay home prices went from down, down, down to up, up, up in 10 years

In 2009, the median price of a Tampa Bay home was $151,500. Today, it is $244,900.
This house on 10th Street NE in St. Petersburg sold for $115,000 in 2009; $170,000 in 2012 and $249,000 in 2018. [Susan Taylor Martin]
This house on 10th Street NE in St. Petersburg sold for $115,000 in 2009; $170,000 in 2012 and $249,000 in 2018. [Susan Taylor Martin]
Published Dec. 24, 2019

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series that examines how Tampa Bay has changed in the past decade. We will publish one story a day until Dec. 31. Read the whole package here.

In 2009, there was hardly a block in the Tampa Bay area that didn’t have at least one house in foreclosure. Neighbors who had lived there for years were suddenly gone, last seen backing out of their weedy driveways with U-hauls packed to the roof.

Prices had begun to fall three years earlier as interest rates rose, and by 2009 many houses were selling for less than half of what they had at the peak of the real estate boom. People couldn’t sell for what they owed, and they couldn’t keep making payments on mortgage loans whose adjustable rates had soared to unaffordable levels. In 2009, Pinellas County had 15,164 new foreclosure filings, two-and-a-half times more than in 2006.

Pinellas County Mosquito Control said a rise in foreclosures has led to an increase in calls and complaints of statgnant pools. [Times (2010)]

In the boom days, "if a house was on the market more than two weeks, clients started to get worried,'' recalls Lance Williams, a Tampa Realtor. "After the downturn, the timetable was probably three months to six months. You would have clients saying, ‘Why isn’t it moving?’ and you’d just have to tell them the truth — the bottom’s fallen out.''

Willliams stuck with it but thousands of other real estate agents left the business. Investors with cash were about the only ones buying.

In early 2013, signs emerged that the market might be starting to recover. Companies like Texas-based David Weekley Homes began buying small, older houses in South Tampa and St. Petersburg’s Snell Isle and replacing them with big new McMansions that sold for more than $1 million. By 2015, sellers were starting to reap small profits and by 2016 the recovery was well underway.

In 2009, the median price of a Tampa Bay home was $151,500. Today, it is $244,900. In January, a gulf-front mansion sold for $16.5 million, the most ever paid for a Tampa Bay home.

Ben and Karla Mallah, pose in the pool area of the $16.5 million home in Belleair Shore they bought in January. It was a record price for a Tampa Bay home. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]

Now, the main complaint is there aren’t enough nice, affordable houses for everyone who wants one.

James Capitano works outside of a home in the Snell Isle neighborhood Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Residential spec building is back, and Houston-based David Weekley Homes bought nine vacant lots and is building homes on them. The home in the background is also a Weekley Home. [Times (2013)]

Tampa Bay housing, 2009-2019

1. Number of Pinellas County homes that sold for $1 million or more in 2009: 112

Number of Pinellas County homes that have sold for $1 million or more this year: 652

2. Number of bank-owned homes in Hillsborough County that sold in 2009: 3,669

Number of bank-owed homes in Hillsborough County that have sold this year: 786

3. Number of Pasco County houses that sold for $100,000 or less in 2009: 2,022.

Number of Pasco County houses that have sold for $100,000 or less this year: 714

4. What the house at 3781 10th St. NE n St. Petersburg sold for in 2009: $115,000.

What the house at 3781 10th St. NE in St. Petersburg sold for last year: $247,000.

5. Number of people who took the licensing exam to be a Florida real estate agent in 2009: 22,736

Number of people who took the licensing exam to be real estate agent last year: 66,665


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    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  2. This home in Colonial Hills neighborhood in west Pasco has been vacant for 10 years, neighbors said. A new Pasco County ordinance would require the owners of vacant and rental residences to register their properties with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. [C.T. BOWEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A new ordinance is supposed to aid sheriff’s deputies and code-enforcement officers dealing with rental or vacant properties.
  3. A beer is pictured in the outdoor games area of Park & Rec on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Towers of Channelside condo association has filed a lawsuit against the bar, as residents complain about noise.
  4. Flooding from an October king tide in Miami Shores fills streets, sidewalks and driveways at its peak. [Miami Herald]
    And it could lose up to 35 percent of its value by 2050, according to a new report.
  5. Downtown Tampa's skyline can be seen in the background of Water Street Tampa's new District Cooling plant at 301 S Nebraska Ave., on Wednesday. The plant produces chilled water that's pumped to most of the buildings in the 56-acre project. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
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  6. The agrihood area in Arden, a development in Palm Beach County that includes a 5-acre farm and event barn. Lennar, one of the builders in Arden, is proposing an agrihood in its Angeline development in Land O' Lakes. [CHET FROHLICH  |  Freehold Communities]
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  7. The view of the Gulf of Mexico from the master bedroom of the 19,578-square-foot home in Belleair Shores purchased in January 2019 by Ben and Karla Mallah for $16.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Proximity to the gulf and bay drove prices for the most in-demand homes into the eight-figure range during 2019.
  8. Alexandra Toigo, 32 and Sabrina Pourghassem, 23, pose for a photo at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg holding their signature beer mugs during Oktoberfest 2018. ["LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The beer hall’s property owners filed a lawsuit saying the restaurant missed its rent starting in August.
  9. The Tru by Hilton hotel under construction at 16th Street N and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. [Susan Taylor Martin]
    An expert says there will be demand for the hundreds of planned hotel rooms.
  10. Home prices rose 4.9 percent in the Tampa Bay area during 2019. During 2020, a panel of economists and real estate experts expects the bay area's housing market to outperform the national average.
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