1. Business

Tampa Bay lands in middle of metro pack in 2013 real estate outlook

Published Oct. 18, 2012

Tampa Bay's real estate prospects in 2013 are better than downtrodden Detroit, Las Vegas and Sacramento, Calif.

But we aren't San Francisco, New York or San Jose, Calif., either, the top-ranking (if high-priced) beauty queens of real estate next year.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area lands pretty much in the middle at No. 29 in a survey of 51 major markets appearing in the 2013 Emerging Trends in Real Estate. The report was unveiled Wednesday by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, now known as PwC.

"The Tampa-St. Pete market is one where real estate investors will proceed with caution," says Mitch Roschelle, Emerging Trends, co-chair and head of PwC's national real estate advisory practice in New York. But the same market may benefit, he adds, if investors sense the Miami market is overheating again and look for nearby Florida real estate opportunities.

"The enduring low-gear real estate recovery" will continue in 2013, says Emerging Trends. Safe but super-low interest rates increasingly will drive yield-hungry investors away from plain-vanilla financial instruments. And the "ever-seesawing" stock market will push those same investors toward real estate markets coming off recent bottoms.

Within battered Florida, Miami broke through in the survey at a solid No. 12 of national real estate markets. The ranking is based on three measures: investment, development and home-building potential. Orlando ranked 28th, just ahead of Tampa Bay. And Jacksonville, the only other Florida city measured, came in at No. 39.

On a map, the four Florida cities decline from south to north. Miami was ranked as "modestly good" while Tampa Bay and Orlando were deemed "fair" and Jacksonville was called "modestly poor."

Here are the five most interesting nuggets from the 104-page online report:

5 "The amount of foreign capital in New York City and Washington, D.C., is 'breathtaking.' San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and Boston also draw attention, but not much heads elsewhere."

4 "Most areas can sustain little if any new commercial construction, given relatively lackluster tenant demand and the generally weak employment outlook."

3 "Office users squeeze more people into less square footage, preferring green buildings with operating efficiencies, while retailers reduce store size in favor of various integrated e-commerce strategies."

2 "The large generation-Y demographic cohort orients away from the suburbs to more urban lifestyles, and these young adults willingly rent shoebox-sized apartments as long as neighborhoods have enticing amenities with access to mass transit."

1 "More intergenerational sharing of housing occurs to pool resources among children (seeking employment), their parents (reduced wages and benefits), and grandparents (limited pensions and savings)."

Bottom line? In real estate, smaller, leaner and more urban trends will all become big drivers in 2013.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@tampabay.com.


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