Mar 5, 2024 - Real Estate

What mortgage rates mean for Tampa Bay home buyers this spring

Median home sales price in the Tampa metro area
Data: Redfin; Chart: Alice Feng and Jared Whalen/Visuals

Lower mortgage rates could push up home prices in Tampa Bay, and nationwide, if demand surges and inventory remains tight.

Why it matters: Steep borrowing costs are just one piece of the housing affordability crisis.

State of play: U.S. rates for 30-year mortgages are down from 20-year highs, but have crossed 7% again.

By the numbers: In the Tampa metro area, home prices jumped when mortgage rates dropped below 3%. As rate hikes locked current homeowners in place, prices remained elevated.

The fine print: Despite cooling from the 2022 record-highs, median home prices are still higher than they were pre-pandemic.

  • The area's median sales price was around $370,000 in December 2023, compared to $240,000 in December 2019, per Redfin.

Flashback: In 2021, when rates hovered below 3.5%, bidding wars were rampant and home prices surged by double-digit percentages.

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