2021 was a banner year for Tampa Bay’s real estate market. As demand stayed strong, new buyers flocked from other states and even Realtors marveled at the ever-higher sales prices.
In 2020, the highest sales price for a home in Tampa Bay was $9.3 million for a Clearwater estate (two plots of land in Davis Islands also sold for $11 million). By comparison, last year’s top transaction was more than double, at a record-breaking $22.5 million. Not to mention the home’s star power with Yankees great Derek Jeter as the seller and Tom Brady as its former tenant, culminating in one of the region’s most famous sales ever.
But Stephen Gay, a Smith & Associates agent involved in the sale, said he doesn’t think it’s an exception.
“It’s a sign of the times to come for sure,” he said. “We have people relocating here at a rate we’ve never seen before.”
Gay said he noticed a lot of the top transactions of the year were made in cash, hinting at a “new category” of ultra-rich buyers making an entrance into Tampa Bay.
“In like January or February it’s like someone pounded on the gas and we were going faster than we ever had,” he said. “It’s just exploded.”
Davis Islands in particular has become the hotspot for Tampa Bay’s biggest house sales. David Moyer, also of Smith & Associates Real Estate in Tampa, said luxury condos will also continue to break records as more wealthy buyers demand increasingly higher-end finishes and amenities.
In the following list, the names in parentheses are of the agents who represented the sellers, followed by the buyers’ agents, where applicable. The information about each house is according to the Multiple Listing Service and news releases from the time of the sales. The analysis included all home sales closed throughout 2021 in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties. Prices were rounded to the nearest $100,000 unless otherwise noted.
1. $22.5 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 21,796 square feet, seven bedrooms, eight full and eight half-bathrooms. (Stephen Gay, Katherine Glaser; Toni Everett)
The sale of the custom mansion at 58 Bahama Circle closed in May at the highest price ever fetched for a Tampa Bay home. In addition to its star-studded reputation, it features a clubroom with a full-service bar, a wine cellar, movie theater, gym, in-law suite, au-pair wing, air-conditioned six-car garage, a scullery and full-home generator.
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Outside, there’s 9,000 square feet of covered porches and balconies, plus a heated spa and 80-foot saltwater lap pool. The listing describes the estate as the “largest ever assembled waterfront property on Davis Islands,” sitting on 1.25 acres with 354 feet of open bay.
Moyer said the buyer of the property was “local,” but declined to say more.
On the deed, the buyer is listed as a lawyer acting as a trustee of “Zebb.com Trust.” Zebb.com is a cryptocurrency app that allows people to invest Indian rupees into Bitcoin. On its website it mentions affiliations with Zebpay, a major cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Singapore.
The Tampa lawyer on the deed, David L. Koche, did not respond to requests for comment. The Realtors involved in the sale said they could not disclose the buyer’s identity.
2. $16.7 million, Thonotosassa
The basics: A total of 36,361 square feet and eight bedrooms, 12 full and 14 half-bathrooms, split among multiple buildings. (Mary Pond, Dina Sierra Smith)
This sweeping estate, in French Normandy style, is called “The Oaks.” The former owners, one of whom was a co-founder of Lazydays RV dealerships, also created hills and planted hundreds of trees, including imported Italian cypresses.
The manor consists of a four-story main chateau, which has, in addition to six bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, a wood-paneled men’s lounge, steam and sauna room, a bowling alley and a game room with retro decor.
There’s also a two-story guesthouse, a 20-car collector’s garage, workshop, pool house, gatehouse, horse barn with a grazing pasture, indoor and outdoor saltwater pools and a boathouse. On its 36 acres of rolling hills, the property also features a go-cart track and a 1-mile jogging trail.
3. $16 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 8,516 square feet, seven bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and one half-bath. (Allan Mezrah)
Jeter isn’t the only pro athlete who got top dollar for his former home. This house, at 78 Martinique Ave., was the residence of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and his wife, and it wasn’t even on the market when it sold. The buyers, listed on the deed as John and Kathy Shields, wanted to move to Tampa from the Boston area and were looking for a house just like this one, according to Realtor Allan Mezrah.
So Mezrah asked the hockey star if he had a “move-out number,” and the buyers met it. One of the home’s features is a trophy room.
4. $12.6 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 10,347 square feet, six bedrooms and six full and four half-bathrooms. (Toni Everett)
This estate was once owned by baseball pro Tino Martinez, a Tampa native who played with the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. He sold it in 2014 for $4.7 million, public records show. That price is far below what it fetched last year, and Realtor Toni Everett said prime water views are at the top of the wish lists of wealthy buyers.
“It’s just a beautiful piece of land on open bay,” she said. “That’s what brings those higher prices.”
5. $11.5 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 7,367 square feet, six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and one half-bath. (Allan Mezrah; Jennifer Zales)
This home prominently features its open bay views from every part of the house, said Mezrah, with practically every room built so it’s looking out to the water. It also has a movie theater room and outdoor patio. This sale was yet another example of how hot Davis Islands has become, because the buyer offered to pay full price before Mezrah had a chance to market it, he said.
6. $10.5 million, Mandalay Point, Clearwater
The basics: 3,338 square feet, four bedrooms, five full bathrooms. (Martha Thorn; Terry Tillung)
The listing for this house tantalized buyers by calling it a “rare opportunity to own a slice of Florida paradise.” On the narrow portion of the barrier island near Caladesi Island State Park, this beach house allows residents to stroll on Clearwater beach but also enjoy the privacy of their own pool and dock. It also features a fireplace, large sunroom with flagstone floors, kitchen with a breakfast bar, butler’s pantry and hurricane impact windows.
7. $10.3 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 5,362 square feet, seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms. (Allan Mezrah)
The home on this property was built in 1939, property records show. Mezrah said the buyer already demolished it to build something new, but loved the lot with its 125 feet of open bay views.
“He bought for land value to build a dream home,” he said.
8. $9.9 million, Largo
The basics: 17,599 square feet, four bedrooms, five full and four half-bathrooms. (Martha Thorn; Kenny Hayslett)
This Tuscan-style estate sits on a 4.5-acre lot with 247 feet of waterfront on the Intracoastal Waterway, and features a fountain, children’s playground and putting green. Indoors, its formal entertaining areas include a grand salon with a two-story fireplace and dining room with seating for 20, plus a guest suite with its own terrace. The family room opens to a saltwater infinity pool.
It was also marketed as being “environmentally conscious,” with a solar water heater, LED lighting and energy-efficient appliances.
9. $8.4 million, Davis Islands, Tampa
The basics: 5,665 square feet, five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and one half-bath. (Allan Mezrah)
We’ve arrived at Stamkos’ current home, after his previous residence less than 2 miles away sold for nearly double the price of his new digs. This home was also not on the market when Stamkos purchased it, but the sale happened after Mezrah drove around Davis Islands and tried to persuade homeowners to sell, he said.
The property has 107 feet of waterfront on a canal and a rooftop “lookout” with views of downtown Tampa and Hillsborough Bay, according to Mezrah.
10. $8.2 million, North Pass-a-Grille, St. Pete Beach
The basics: 4,985 square feet, three bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half-bathroom. (Donna Miller; Dania Perry)
Located in a “secluded corner lot” in Pass-a-Grille, this home features Jerusalem Gold limestone and bamboo floors, tilted ceilings, Chihuly glass art, and a spiral staircase that encircles a see-through glass and bronze elevator. The living room ceiling features mother-of-pearl, while its master wing has unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico.
11. $7.5 million, Odessa
The basics: 10,310 square feet, six bedrooms, seven full and two half-bathrooms, split among multiple buildings. (Jennifer Zales; Brian Wood)
The listing describes this 19-acre property as “one of the grandest lakefront equestrian estates ever offered in Tampa Bay,” complete with a main residence, guesthouse, two barns with a riding area and a 10-car plus RV detached air-conditioned garage. Inside the main residence is an executive office with “rich wood detail,” a gourmet kitchen and family room with exposed beams, plus a soundproof media room, bar and game room.
Outside are multiple lanais, a tennis court, a saltwater heated pool and spa, outdoor kitchen including a pizza oven, plus “majestic lake views.”
12. $7.2 million, Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa
The basics: 7,366 square feet, five bedrooms, five full and three half-bathrooms. (Mary Beth Byrd, Leslie Minder; Julie Hanigan)
This luxury condo penthouse was the most expensive condo ever sold in the city of Tampa, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The three-story home was at The Sanctuary at Alexandra Place, a 17-story luxury tower offering water views and top-of-the-line finishes next to Fred Ball Park. The sale closed before construction was completed.
The penthouse features a rooftop pool, skyline views of Tampa, a library, gym, media room and 20-foot window walls. Its square footage makes it larger than some of the mansions on this list.
13. $7.1 million, Belleair
The basics: 11,982 square feet, six bedrooms, seven full and four half-bathrooms. (Dania Perry)
With terraced outdoor levels that lead to the waterfront, this home rests “high above the Intracoastal Waterway,” according to the listing, giving it “sensational” views of Sand Key, Clearwater Harbor and the Gulf. The estate has 21-foot-high ceilings, detailed woodworking, upper and lower level master suites, plus two offices with fireplaces, a fitness room, steam shower and sauna, and entertainment room with a wood lacquered bar. Wrap-around balconies and an elaborate fountain lend a “Great Gatsby feel,” and it has a tennis court, pool, gazebo and guesthouse.
14. $7 million, Beach Park, Tampa
The basics: 8,370 square feet, five bedrooms, five full and two half-bathrooms (Jeff Shelton, Christine Mastrilli; James Henning)
This new modern-architectural home along a deep-water canal opening up to Tampa Bay was still under construction when it sold in November, according to the listing. It is being built by Modern Capital Development, a Tampa-based developer that focuses on custom luxury homes that are both modern and technologically advanced, its website says. The 0.35-acre home will be wired for “automation features,” a whole home audio system, a security system and LED light accents.
15. $6.999 million, Clearwater
The basics: 8,548 square feet, five bedrooms, five full and three half-bathrooms (Sophia Vasilaros; Jessica Alvarado)
The waterfront estate combines glass, stone, quartz and woodwork throughout the home for a “modern warm” feel. And it was built to withstand a Category 4 hurricane, according to the listing.
Inside there’s a home gym with views of the Gulf waters attached to a master bedroom, and the outside sports a boating dock with a 30,000-pound boatlift and a smaller lift for personal watercraft.
16-17. $6.9 million, $6.87 million, Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa
The basics: Approximately 7,000 and 10,000 square feet, both have four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half-bath (Toni Everett, Sandra Kerr Lewis)
Two more new condominiums made this list — both from the Virage Bayshore, a 25-story tower that was featured in an episode of Netflix’s Selling Tampa. The complex features “resort amenities” and personal concierge services, according to the listing.
Both of these condos are on the top floors of the building with panoramic views of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay and downtown Tampa. The unit on the 25th floor was the most expensive condo sold in Tampa for a time before another condo on Bayshore Boulevard a few blocks away took the title.
18. $6.8 million, Redington Beach
The basics: 6,528 square feet, five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and one half-bath (Jennifer Zales; Justin Hubbard)
This gated home on the Gulf of Mexico has 80 feet of waterfront space with panoramic views from inside through floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces facing the beach, according to the listing. Inside it features travertine and hardwood floors, a private elevator and “cathedral ceilings.” The master bedroom holds a gas fireplace, an entertainment center, a custom dressing room, a private terrace and a master bathroom with a “dramatic” shower.
19. $6.5 million, Snell Isle, St. Petersburg
The basics: 4,706 square feet, four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half-bath (Alona Dishy; Judy Holland)
This bay waterfront home built in 1957 has nearly everything renovated inside — including a replaced staircase — according to the listing. It includes a new seawall, pool under construction, and a dock and launching pad for a boat, personal watercraft or a kayak.
20. $6.4 million, Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, Tampa
The basics: 15,999 square feet, six bedrooms, seven full and five half-bathrooms (James Henning; Gunjan Walia)
It’s green as far as the eye can see on this estate. Built on the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, the first floor features an office with library bookshelves and a home theater, according to the listing. Upstairs, the home has a gym, playroom and covered patio and balcony. The additional pool house by the “resort-style” pool and jacuzzi includes a commercial kitchen and can be converted to a professional recording studio.
21. $6.3 million, Culbreath Isles, Tampa
The basics: 5,662 square feet, four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half-bathroom (Nick Janovsky; Jeannie Nicholson)
This Tampa mansion’s architecture is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, according to the listing. Renowned local architect Sol Fleischman designed this home built in 2008. The estate sits on the end of a mini peninsula and has 271 feet of waterfront with views of Tampa Bay and downtown St. Petersburg. The South Tampa property was featured on Fox Business Network’s show “Mansion Global” and “Florida Design” magazine called it “one of the most unforgettable homes in Florida.”
22. $6.1 million, Jules Verne Park, Tampa
The basics: 12,305 square feet, six bedrooms, six full and two half-bathrooms (Elizabeth Dundee-Guluzian; Henderson Everett)
The colonial-style estate has home decor from around the world, according to the listing: a rare chandelier from Paris, oval windows from London, and a bathroom door from Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion in Chicago.
The 1.3-acre lot has a custom wine cellar, a fountain pouring into the pool, a terrace with a cabana, an iron staircase, home theater, music room, game room, exposed brick walls in two bathrooms and convenient access to a yacht club and tennis courts.
23. $6 million, Snell Isle, St. Petersburg
The basics: 5,105 square feet, five bedrooms, four full and two half-bathrooms (Bethsabe Bockman-Pedersen, Collette Richardson; Heather Lauter)
This estate, facing the bay and downtown St. Petersburg, has 132 feet of waterfront, according to the listing. The master bathroom has a spa and hydro massage tub. The mansion was built by Windstar Homes, a Tampa Bay development group focused on luxury properties ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 square feet.
24. $5.8 million, downtown St. Petersburg
The basics: 7,457 square feet, five bedrooms, five full and two half-bathrooms (Nikki Pagano; Ali St Cyr)
This penthouse near Beach Drive takes up the whole sixth floor inside Rowland Place, a boutique condominium complex, according to the listing. It has a balcony on all four corners with views of Tropicana Field, the St. Pete Pier, Tampa Bay and downtown St. Petersburg’s skyline. The condo includes a wine room, private elevator, poker game room, full wet bar, workout room, a home theater and separately, two garages with an outlet for electric cars.
25. $5.6 million, Snell Isle, St. Petersburg
The basics: 6,132 square feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms (Alicia Warburton, Lauren Krawczyk; Kym Coyle)
This midcentury modern mansion has “unobstructed” views of the St. Pete Pier, the listing for the property said. The waterfront estate includes sailboat access, natural lighting in every room, a “glass-enclosed” wine room, an entertainment area and private guest quarters.