The year is winding to a close, but it isn’t too late to get a “piece of the action” here in St. Pete’s Real Estate market! Below we have outlined the top 10 reasons you don’t want to wait for the New Year’s Eve countdown to make your move!
1. A Wide Range of Housing Price Points. The range of Real Estate prices make St. Pete/Tampa an ideal place for Snow Birds, people wanting to relocate, investors and first time buyers. From the $150,000’s (median sale price of a single-family home) in Hernando County to $229,000 in Hillsborough and with a huge Luxury market soaring into the millions; it’s possible to meet almost anyone’s needs and budget.
2. People are employed. The trend line for the Tampa unemployment rate began to drop at the beginning of September 2015 and, by November, had dipped to 4.6 percent. Much of that employment came from sectors outside agriculture – translation: jobs, jobs, jobs! And jobs mean people are in the market for homes.
3. People are educated. Over a dozen years beginning in 2000, the population in the 25-to-34 age group with a bachelor’s degree grew by more than 30,000 in Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater. That represents a growth rate of 40 percent! Portland and its surrounding metro areas are trendy, but our rate surpassed even theirs. Our region also outstripped three other huge metropolitan areas: the greater Washington, D.C., metro region; Los Angeles and environs, and New York-New Jersey, whose growth in this category was 36 percent, 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively. This is good for sellers because a younger, more highly educated population is hungry for homes.
4. It’s a sellers market. In St. Petersburg’s 33713 ZIP code, which includes Historic Kenwood and Harshaw Lake, 24 of the 69 houses that changed hands in June sold for 100 percent or more of their asking prices. There are more buyers than the inventory of houses can supply!
5. There is never an “off” season to sell your home. In this area visitors and tourists help keep the interest in our real estate fairly even keeled all year. Typically there is a slight surge in our region during the months of June and July, but it is not a dramatic curve. So even as the holiday approach, it is a great time to sell!
6. Sales are increasing hand over fist each year in St. Pete/Tampa area. A total of 46,512 single-family homes sold last year in Pinellas, Hilsborough, Hernando and Pasco counties. A 39 percent increase from 2012. Statewide, the Florida Realtors organization expects sales of existing homes to rise about 8 to 10 percent this year, accompanied by a 5 percent increase in home values.
7. You are likely to make money on the sale. Five years’ worth of data shows that sales prices shot up throughout 2015. In at least four months during the year, the median home price in 2015 in Tampa Bay was approximately $20,000 higher than the year before.
8. The short sale frenzy is over. Sales of traditional homes are up almost 17 percent. Short-sale transactions are down 41 percent. The market is returning to something approaching normal.
9. Either Hillsborough County or Pinellas County is a good place to sell a home. It doesn’t matter which side of the bay you’re on – houses fly. Comparing December 2015 to the prior year, sales of single family homes in Pinellas are up 3.4 percent, and in Hillsborough they’re up .5 percent. Median sales price is up 10 percent in Pinellas; up 15 percent in Hillsborough. In both counties, single-family homes sell in about six to seven weeks on average. The median sale price in Pinellas started 2015 in January at $156,500 and ended in December at $186,450. The median sale price in Hillsborough started 2015 in January at $160,000 and ended in December at $211,450. That’s money in sellers’ banks.
10. Competition with other sellers is better now than it will be. Economists say some sellers are still holding out, betting that their homes will command higher prices in a healthier market. But once that glut of homes-for-sale occurs, supply-and-demand will kick in. Instead of cashing in, you’ll be one of many awash in a sea of “for sale” signs. New listings in Pinellas numbered 1,131 in December, down 1.5 percent over the previous year. Hillsborough had more new listings – 1,356 – but was down 6.4 percent. Now is the time!