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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In December, Tampa Bay-area homes flew off the market in about 10 days, and buyers paid top dollar, according to Florida Realtors' latest report.

The state of play: Historically low interest rates are driving demand. That, combined with low inventory, caused home prices to surge.

  • Realtor.com predicts housing prices will rise 7.5% around Tampa Bay in 2021.
Data: Zillow; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Average single-family home prices are up by more than 13% compared to December 2019 in Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

  • Single-family homes in those counties went under contract in 12.5 days on average.
  • Average home values in Sarasota County showed the highest appreciation, up 31%.
  • Inventory is low across the board. Available single-family homes are down 55% in Pasco County and 50% in Hillsborough County.

Why first-time homeowners have to move fast ... In Hernando County last month, townhouses and condos typically went under contract within four days.

The bottom line: 2020 proved to be a strong sellers' market, and there are no signs of that slowing in 2021, per the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

A sneak peek inside Minnesota's only 5-star hotel

This rendering shows what the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Minneapolis will look like. Photo: Smallwood Architects

Developer United Properties shared this not-yet-publicized rendering of the Four Seasons lobby in downtown Minneapolis with Axios.

The state of play: The 222-room hotel — which will be Minnesota's only five-star property — is part of the 37-story RBC Gateway Tower office-retail-condo project at Nicollet and Washington, the largest current development in the Twin Cities at a cost north of $400 million. It's set to open in 2022.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."