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Tampa Bay area home sales in January outpace U.S. market

The total number of houses sold is up compared with January 2019, and so are median prices in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
A "for sale" sign beckons Friday along Sixth Avenue N in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO | Times]

The Tampa Bay area’s housing market stayed strong in January, outpacing the national market for year-over-year growth, according to new reports Friday from Florida Realtors.

Compared to January 2019, the number of single-family home sales rose 14 percent for the region — 24 percent in Pinellas County, nearly 22 percent in Hernando, 12 percent in Hillsborough and 3 percent in Pasco.

Statewide, home sales rose nearly 18 percent from January a year ago to last month. Nationally, the year-over-year increase was 9.6 percent.

Related: Tampa Bay area home sales rise, inventories fall in December

While number of houses sold dropped at the national, state and local levels from December to January, the housing market tends to be seasonal, the Florida Realtors organization says, so year-over-year changes provide a more accurate sense of what’s going on than numbers from one month to the next.

And what’s going on is good, says Florida Realtors president Barry Grooms of Bradenton.

“Many of the same market conditions we saw over the past few months — like favorable mortgage rates, buyer demand and low inventories — have continued into 2020,” Grooms said in an announcement of the statewide numbers.

Related: Here are the 25 most expensive Tampa Bay homes sold in 2019

Around the Tampa Bay area:

• In Pinellas, 851 homes sold in January with a median price of $265,000, up 6 percent from a year ago. The number of townhouses and condominiums dropped to 544, a nearly 5 percent decrease compared with a year ago, and the median price for those dwellings was down 9 percent to $175,500.

• In Hillsborough, 1,248 homes were sold in January with a median price of $257,726, up 7.4 percent from a year ago. A total of 365 townhomes and condos changed hands, a year-over-year increase of more than 7 percent, and the median price for those sales was $177,910, an increase of nearly 6 percent compared with January 2019.

• In Pasco, 645 houses were sold in January with a median price of $229,900, an increase of nearly 12 percent year over year. Townhome and condo sales increased nearly 19 percent compared with January 2019 to a total of 139 at a median price of $161,017, a 10.7 percent increase.

• In Hernando, 291 houses were sold at a median price of $189,000, a 12.5 percent increase from January 2019. Just six townhomes or condos were sold in January, a drop of 68 percent from the previous January, though the median price of $135,250 was up more than 9 percent.

Related: Tampa still a good place to flip a house, study says

Nationally, the median sales price in January was $266,300, up 6.8 percent from a year ago. Florida’s median home sales price was $265,000, up 6 percent.

Meanwhile, the average interest rate charged on a 30-year mortgage was 3.49 percent this week, down from 4.35 percent a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

This article includes information from the Associated Press.

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