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Home Trend: Steady Gains

TAMPA TIMES - With data on millions of homes nationwide, the folks at Realtor.com think they have a pretty good idea of how the real estate market is doing. 

So here's their prediction for the Tampa Bay area in 2018:

Sales, up 1.3 percent.

Prices, up 6 percent.

That's not as good as in 2016 or even in the first part of this year, but it's certainly not bad.  "Tampa Bay is not expected to have incredibly brisk sales growth, but 1.3 percent is a pretty healthy market from the sales side," Danielle Hale, Realtor.com's chief economist, said in a phone interview Tuesday from New York.  "Price growth is slower than you've probably seen in the last year, but it's still faster than normal."

Among the nation's top 100 housing markets for 2018, Tampa Bay ranks 29th.  The one area in which the Bay Area especially shines is new home starts, predicted to soar more than 20 percent next year.  That would ease one of the biggest constraints on the local real estate market: a shortage of homes for sale.

"It will help increase inventory because it creates new homes for existing homeowners to trade up to and frees up existing homes," Hale said.

With Pinellas County nearly built out, most of the bay area's new houses are going up in southern Hillsborough and southern Pasco, where land is still relatively cheap.  For the three months ended in Septemeber, housing starts in those counties jumped nearly 20 percent year-over-year.

Written by: Susan Taylor Martin

TAMPA TIMES

Published:  Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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