Apr 18, 2023 - Real Estate

Millennial homeowners outnumber renters in Tampa Bay

Illustration of a pair of sunglasses with a house reflecting in the lenses.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite high home prices, more millennials are turning from renting to buying in Tampa Bay.

Why it matters: The generation criticized for its spending on avocados and coffee had been lagging behind other generations in homeownership, but now they're fueling the housing market.

Driving the news: Florida was the top choice for millennials looking to buy a home, according to a recent RentCafe report.

  • North Port and Lakeland were two of the top metro areas with the largest increase in millennial homeownership over the last five years, increasing more than 800% and 330% respectively.
  • The Tampa area increased by more than 57%.

Meanwhile: Several Florida areas saw decreases in their millennial renting population in the last five years.

  • Tampa and Jacksonville decreased by more than one-third.

The big picture: Nationally, millennial homeowners outnumbered millennial renters for the first time last year, despite creeping interest rates and a tight real estate market, Axios' Kelly Tyko reports.

  • Nearly 52% of the first generation to grow up in the Internet age ​​— people born from 1981 to 1996 — were homeowners in 2022, making the largest ownership gains of any generation in the last five years.

Between the lines: Buyers are putting less money down in Tampa Bay, but homes here are still expensive.

  • Home prices are up 9% in the Tampa area year over year, according to March data from Redfin.

What they're saying: Tampa real estate agent Asad Shaikh tells Axios most millennials are still priced out of the local housing market. But the cost of quality rentals is so high now, some higher-income earners are choosing to buy instead, he says.

  • Many millennials are opting for new construction suburban housing, and oftentimes builders cover closing costs, Shaikh says.
  • "If they're looking at going the rental route for cost savings, the quality of product out there and the way it's maintained doesn't make for a great experience. At that point, they're thinking 'I just should buy.'"

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