Axios Tampa Bay
December 02, 2023
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Today's newsletter is 455 words — a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: 🎁 Home for the holidays
It was a bad year to be a buyer, but the tail end of 2023 might offer a bright spot for Tampa Bay house hunters.
Why it matters: With still-high mortgage rates, home shoppers are desperate for even a little more buying power.
The big picture: There's less competition among buyers right now — thanks to mortgage rates and the typical holiday season demand dip — which leaves some room for buyers to negotiate better deals.
What they're saying: Houses are sitting on the market for two weeks longer than they were in 2021, which gives buyers a window to strike a better deal, Tampa Bay agent Adam Grenville says.
- Concessions like rate buydowns and closing cost assistance are more popular than dramatic price reductions. Though, list-to-sales price ratios are "as low as 90% in some areas," Glenville tells Axios.
- In some cases, sellers are giving the buyers 3-6% of the sale price to cover closing costs.
Zoom in: Inventory is still tight. But the new build market is exploding in East Pasco markets like Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills, Glenville says.
Zoom out: More than one in three U.S. sellers gave concessions — like cash for repairs or closing costs — to buyers August through October 2023, according to a new Redfin report.
What's happening: Most sellers — sitting on record-low mortgage rates — are only moving if they have to. Desperate to close the deal, they might throw in cash for repairs, closing costs or mortgage rate buydowns, per Redfin.
- Some sellers will pay cash toward a temporary lower mortgage rate for the buyer instead of reducing the asking price, mortgage lender Donny Kirby tells Axios.
- It helps make "the payment palatable in the first couple of years," and most buyers are betting they can refinance later, he says.
Bottom line: Desperate sellers and minimal competition help give buyers a little more power this winter.
2. Charted: Monthly mortgage payments
After peaking above 8%, mortgage rates have fallen closer to 7% over the last month.
The big picture: A one percentage point drop in mortgage rates doesn't have a huge impact on a new homebuyer's monthly payment. But even a slight dip was enough to get some buyers off the sidelines.
State of play: A $400,000 home costs nearly $1,000 more per month than it did two years ago — in principal and interest alone.
3. 🎥 2023 real estate review
Readers, we want to know your biggest takeaways from this year in real estate.
- If you had to write a headline summarizing the 2023 real estate market, what would it be?
Email [email protected] or hit reply with your name and hometown. We might feature your insights in an upcoming newsletter.
🎄 Bri is obsessing over nostalgic Christmas decor.
Thanks to our editor Ashley May and copy editor Bill Kole.