Advertisement
  1. Business

Tampa Bay home sales stumble due to cash and short-sale slowdown

Published Dec. 20, 2013

Tampa Bay home sales slid 10 percent last month compared to a year ago, as short sellers and cash buyers continued to exit the market, new multiple listing service data show.

About 2,500 existing single-family homes sold locally in November, down from about 2,800 the year before, the largest year-over-year drop in three years. The median home sold for $157,000, 8 percent higher than in November 2012.

About 300 "short sales" were completed last month for less than the homeowner owes, half as many as in November 2012, accounting for much of the plunge in total sales.

Home price gains have allowed homeowners to regain equity and avoid short sales. About 30 percent of Tampa Bay homes are now "underwater," compared with 45 percent last year, CoreLogic data show.

Recovering prices have also squeezed out investors, with cash deals dropping last month to 40 percent of total sales, the lowest point since early 2012.

The number of conventional home sales in Tampa Bay was actually higher last month than a year before. Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo said that signaled "a continued return to what we would consider a more traditional market."

About 16,620 homes sold across Florida last month, and 4.9 million sold across the country, both of which were about 1 percent fewer than in November 2012. Florida's condo and townhome sales dropped 7 percent over the same time.

The typical winter sales slowdown has been joined this year by other aggravating factors. Though still low, 30-year mortgage rates have risen a full percentage point over the year to 4.5 percent.

Low inventories of good homes for sale — because sellers are asking too much, or are waiting for prices to keep climbing — are stalling potential buyers. And Realtors in Pinellas said "we can't deny" the effect of substantial flood insurance increases on slowing potential home sales.

Drew Harwell can be reached at (727) 893-8252 or dharwell@tampabay.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Job applicants seek information about temporary positions available with the 2020 Census, during a job fair in Miami on Wednesday designed for people fifty years or older. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The state added 22,500 jobs in August.
  2. Homeowner Cheryl Murdoch, 59, explains the workings of the Philips Smart Mirror in her bathroom. Murdoch and her husband live in the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon, where some residents are piloting new health technologies inside their homes. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    In Pasco’s Crystal Lagoon community, AdventHealth and Metro Development Group are testing in-home technology aimed at keeping people away from the hospital.
  3. A company called Flock Safety is selling automatic license plate readers to neighborhood associations to cut down on crime, and Tampa neighborhood Paddock Oaks is one of their customers. Pictured is a Flock camera on Paddock Oaks Dr. | [Luis Santana | Times] LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Atlanta-based Flock Safety has provided 14 area communities with high-speed, high-definition cameras for surveillance.
  4. An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft approaches Miami International Airport for landing in March. Bloomberg
    The 60-year-old veteran airline employee told investigators he was upset that union contract negotiations had stalled.
  5. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  6. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  7. The Aldi store located on 1551 34th St N, St. Petersburg, Florida in 2018, features its updated layout. JONES, OCTAVIO   |  Tampa Bay Times
    The store will re-open after renovations on Thursday, Sept. 26
  8. Jessica LaBouve, a penetration tester for cybersecurity company A-LIGN, poses for a portrait in the A-LIGN office on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 in Tampa. Companies hire A-LIGN to figure out where their digital security weak spots are, and LaBouve is one of the "benevolent hackers" that finds them. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Jessica LaBouve of A-LIGN works with companies to make their applications and platforms more secure.
  9. Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year. MARKUS SCHREIBER  |  AP
    The billionaire also talks trade with China in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
  10. The economies of Canada and Florida go together like, well, palm fronds and maple leaves, as seen outside the Sweetwater RV Resort in Zephyrhills. (Times file photo) KATE CALDWELL  |  Tampa Bay Times
    To qualify under the proposed Canadian Snowbirds Act, visitors would have to be older than 50 and would have to own or rent a home here.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement