There aren’t enough flame emojis on the Internet to describe the Tampa Bay housing market. In 2022 thus far, the median single-family home in Hillsborough County sold for $415,000. Yowza. 🔥
Prices have cooled off a bit. And for those hoping to dip their toes in the home-buying waters soon, it helps to know what trends to expect. Put on your floaties, and let’s hear what the local experts predict.
A healthier market
Monica Crawford, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty St. Pete, says a major trend for 2023 will be negotiating with sellers again now that the “white-hot market” has cooled. Crawford says this new market — with its higher interest rates — is actually healthier because buyers have more time to request inspections, appraisals, and aren’t having to offer over the asking price.
Now, she says, buyers are once again “able to do their due diligence” to make sure their home is priced accurately.
Rachel Litchfield works for Keller Williams Suburban Tampa. She says Tampanians should look at areas in West + East Tampa, like Tampa Heights or Ybor City, that may be an older space, but still a great bang for your buck.
Litchfield also says more buyers may want to look at places that satisfy most of their wants, but could use some renovations.
Buyers hoping to find areas with less competition may want to think about looking in growing neighborhoods. In Pinellas, Crawford recommends looking at Coquina Key, Old Southeast, or Central Oak Park.
Worth it to wait?
Both Palmer and Litchfield agree that while interest rates are high, it’s still a good time to buy. A lot of sellers are offering incentives to buyers — like covering closing costs for buyers or repairs. Litchfield adds that there are programs for buying down the rate, negotiating the rate into the price, and there are other grants and assistance programs residents can tap into. Basically, get on that dream home now.
What about renting?
Renters in Tampa Bay may notice higher rates than in the past. Tyrone Law, a public relations specialist with Zillow, says in Tampa Bay metro area typical rent is $2,167, up 12.0% year over year.
Eyeing places outside the downtown
Stefi Palmer is a realtor with Keller Williams South Tampa. She noted that Ybor City and the Westshore Marina District both have room to grow and could become hotspots for the growing city. The realtor also says a lot of new townhomes are being built near the urban core — which are a less pricey option than traditional homes.
Litchfield and Crawford both noted that the shift work from home has given families more flexibility to move further from their jobs. Crawford says places like Tarpon Springs or Palm Harbor have always held interest due to their school systems, but now even more homebuyers may be interested.
Supply + demand
Both Crawford and Litchfield are seeing increased supply compared to earlier this year. Litchfield said in Hillsborough County, there were 2.2 months of single-home family supply in September, compared to 0.6 months of supply in January. Currently, Pinellas County is at 1.8 months of inventory, Crawford says, up from under a month’s supply.
Both Hillsborough + Pinellas are struggling to supply enough affordable housing. Palmer and Litchfield point to the state government’s Hometown Heroes program — which provides downpayment assistance + helps with closing costs for first responders, doctors, teachers, and more — as affordable housing help that’s happening at the state level.
City leaders in Tampa are lasering in on affordable housing. The city recently approved a budget that includes $46 million in housing assistance. In St. Pete, leaders have a 10-year plan that includes creating + preserving 2,400 multi-family units.
Another trend to watch for 2023 — the end of open floor plans. Post-peak pandemic, people want a space where they work and a space where they can unwind, Litchfield says. The kids are back in school for the most part, but buyers want space to have an office with a door.