Tampa Bay remains a very desirable place to live, continuing to show up on top 10 locations either by city (Tampa and St. Petersburg) or Tampa Bay. We continue to see net migration into Florida (1,000/day) and Tampa Bay (150/day), which keeps housing demand high while demand in other regions start to slow. We anticipate another good year with price increases slowing and interest rates rising in the second half.
Key Tampa Market Trends
Housing pricing remained strong with continued demand (150 people/day move to Tampa Bay) and the average price ending at $230,000, six percent above last December.
Housing starts are not meeting current needs (conservative developers are the only ones to survive last downturn) with inventory remaining at low levels (three months).
Interest rates, after peaking mid-October at 4.9 percent, have dropped to a year-end 4.51 percent. This should encourage owners to move and take on a new mortgage (increasing inventory) and buyers to pay a higher price with lower payments.
Home closings in December 2018 were the lowest since 2013, but the sales for all of 2018 was just behind 2017.
Listings rose during 2018, consistently ahead of 2017 since August, and approaching 2016 levels. Additional inventory will be necessary to shift this from a seller’s market (this varies by general area).
Homes continue to sell quickly, bottoming at 19 days in July and at 23 days in December.
Prediction for 2019
The housing market will continue to be a seller’s market with slow increases in inventory, interest rates and a slowing in price increases making 2019 a more stable market for both buyers and sellers.