Tampa Bay Housing News Has Realtors Smiling - The Tampa Bay area might not be considered as “glamorous” as Miami, but its housing market is faring far better right now! In fact, when residents around the Bay Area ushered in a brand new year, they also ushered in some great housing news – specifically, that the number of home sales AND home prices made a big jump in December.
Just how much of a jump are we talking?
The number of single-family home sales around Tampa Bay rose 18%, when compared to December 2011. As for prices, they went up 12% between December 2011 and December 2012.
Want more good news?
The time it’s taking Tampa Bay homes to sell has shrunk significantly. At the beginning of 2012, home sellers were having to wait, on average, an excruciating 14 weeks for buyers to come along and make offers. By the end of the year, though, the average Tampa Bay seller only had to wait about six weeks to sell his home. That’s the shortest wait time this area has seen since before the housing bubble burst!
One reason for the decrease?
A decrease in short sales. Tampa Bay saw fewer short sales at the end of 2012. Since short sales are notoriously-slow (banks can take months to approve these transactions), it drives up the average selling time all over the metro.
Another benefit to seeing fewer short sales? Higher home values. Since short sales are considered a “distressed” property (like foreclosures), they sell for prices that are lower than market value. While they typically aren’t sold at the bare-bottom prices that foreclosures are, they can still drag down the average selling prices throughout the area. So, having fewer of them is good for a variety of reasons! But the lack of short sales isn’t the only reason for the recent housing number swing in Tampa Bay. Demand has certainly played a role, too. But you might be surprised to find out who’s doing a bunch of the buying here!
While many metros around the country are focused on attracting young, first-time buyers, senior citizens are largely-responsible for the jump here.Why is that so surprising? After all, seniors have been retiring to Florida – particularly the more affordable west coast – for decades.
Well, the Great Recession put a wrinkle in those plans. For years, senior citizens all over the country have been “trapped” in their homes because younger people haven’t been buying. Traditionally, older people sell their bigger houses to younger people, then downsize to something smaller. But with 20- and 30-somethings sticking with rental properties (and, in many cases, sticking with Mom and Dad) senior sellers have been out of luck.So, during the recession, Florida didn’t see the influx of retirees that it traditionally had. In fact, Florida’s population was lucky to stay steady over the past few years!
That’s apparently starting to change, though. Now, there’s an influx of seniors headed to Tampa Bay. So many, in fact, that some population experts say that Tampa Bay will become one of the fastest aging metros in the country.
But, they say, these aren’t your “stereotypical” retirees who move into nursing homes and play bingo. Instead, these senior citizens are ready to make their mark on the area – in the form of buying homes, staying active, and even starting businesses. So, the economic impact these new citizens have could be huge, which could lead to big things for the rest of the housing market here!
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