Aug 28, 2021 - Real Estate

Tampa Bay's hot real estate market isn't slowing down

Illustration of a real estate for sale sign with a fire emoji on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It’s been a year of historically low inventory, historically high demand and historically high home prices.

Why it matters: Buyers are exhausted, and hardworking people are priced out of housing in Tampa Bay.

  • The region has the most expensive houses in Florida, and home values are rising faster here than in almost any other metro in the country.
  • Justin Ricke, who’s been a Tampa real estate agent for five years, says some homes get anywhere from three to 30 offers. And houses move off the market as quickly as they’re put on.
  • "You can put a house on the market Thursday, and if you market it correctly, get multiple offers by Sunday, have a decision by Monday."

State of play: In July 2021, closed and pending sales were down across Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties, according to the latest MLS data.

  • If this trend were to continue, it could indicate the market is cooling. But slowdowns are typical for this time of year, and July’s numbers don’t indicate a trend yet.

Yes, but: Inventory is still too low to meet demand, even if demand has temporarily cooled — and that continues to push home prices up.

Median home prices around Tampa
Data: Florida Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Of note: In July 2021, inventory was between 0.8–1.1 months' supply in each of the five counties; down 30–40% in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties and 65% in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

  • Houses went under contract in six days or less, on average.
  • Most single-family homes get 100% of the asking price or more.

Between the lines: People are being priced out of buying, and even renting, in the Tampa Bay area. Ricke says he gets calls daily from people, including teachers and service industry workers, looking for an affordable place to live.

  • "There’s a huge segment of the working population that doesn’t have the capability to buy," Ricke says. "The people who come in and take care of you every day, they’re at risk."

The bottom line: Even if home values start to appreciate less rapidly, Tampa’s a long way from a balanced market. And buyers will continue to feel the squeeze of the inventory crunch.


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