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Tampa Bay leads in rising home prices, index finds

For years, Phoenix was leading the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. Not anymore.
Prices of Tampa Bay homes went up 34.8% in the year ending in March, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index reported Tuesday. It’s the highest reported yearly gains of the 20 U.S. cities the index tracks.
Prices of Tampa Bay homes went up 34.8% in the year ending in March, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index reported Tuesday. It’s the highest reported yearly gains of the 20 U.S. cities the index tracks. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Jun. 1|Updated Jun. 1

Tampa Bay home prices have risen the fastest of anywhere in the U.S., according to a national index.

Prices of Tampa Bay homes went up 34.8% in the year ending in March, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index reported Tuesday. It’s the highest reported yearly gains of the 20 U.S. cities the index tracks.

For years, Phoenix’s housing market was leading the nation. Not anymore.

Related: Tampa Bay is Zillow’s hottest housing market for 2022

“For the first time in nearly three years, the city with the most rapid growth in housing prices was not Phoenix. In March, Tampa led all cities with a gain of 34.8%,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

Phoenix home prices rose 32.4% and Miami followed with 32%. Cities in the South and Southeast have had the strongest performances, according to the Case-Shiller data.

While some have been expecting the housing market to slow down, Lazzara said that hasn’t happened yet. National home prices increased 20.6% from March 2021, the fastest ever recorded in 35 years. But because of rising mortgage rates, Lazzara said home prices likely can’t continue to accelerate at this pace. The bigger question is not if prices will fall, but when?

Related: Is Tampa Bay's housing market reaching its peak?

Home prices have skyrocketed during the pandemic because of a lack of homes on the market, slow construction and high demand. Tampa has seen explosive population growth, as well.

Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas have warned there may be a housing bubble brewing in the U.S. While supply and demand can explain much of the housing boom, the researchers found it doesn’t support all of it. A growing “fear of missing out” may be contributing to the rising home prices putting Florida at risk.

If there is a housing bubble, many economists agree it won’t be as disastrous as the one in 2008, which was caused by an oversupply of homes and bad financing. But Florida Atlantic University economist Ken H. Johnson said that buying near the peak of the market could still be painful for many.

Tampa home prices are 52% percent above where they should be, according to Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University housing data. The average home sold for more than $100,000 above its historical pricing trend in April.

While states like Florida may benefit from population growth and might not see housing prices decline, Johnson said residents will likely face a prolonged period of unaffordability, which could lead to labor shortages.

“Home prices and rents can’t separate as significantly as they have from their long-term fundamental trends without major issues arising in the marketplace,” Johnson said. “Few markets, if any, will escape unscathed.”

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