For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.
The median value of a bay area home jumped to $184,900 for an 11 percent gain, tying with Dallas for the second biggest increase among the nation's 35 largest metro areas. Seattle was No. 1 as home values there shot up 13 percent to a median of $440,100.
The Zillow report covers all single family homes including those that have not recently sold. Of Tampa Bay houses that sold in May, the median price rose to $221,200 from $215,000 a month earlier as the limited supply of homes continues to drive up prices nationwide.
"Inventory has been falling for years with supply no longer meeting demand, and there are multiple reasons for the worsening situation," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow's chief economist.
Among those reasons: Millennials are reaching their prime home-buying years and entering the market in droves. The relatively low level of new home construction has failed to keep pace with demand, and what is built is largely priced beyond the reach of many first-time and entry-level home buyers.
According to Zillow, the number of U.S. single-family homes for sale is dropping at the fastest pace in four years as an increase in home rentals takes away a chunk of sellable inventory.
"Thousands of single-family homes that were once bought and sold every few years prior to the recession have now been converted into rental properties by investors, trading hands much less frequently and further contributing to inventory shortages,'' Gudell said.
In May, the Tampa Bay area had 17.6 percent fewer houses for sale than it did a year ago while the percentage of houses for rent has soared 110 percent since 2000.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at email@example.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate