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Tampa Area Building Startups Outpace Other Florida Markets

Tampa Bay Times - Tampa Bay is sprouting new homes more quickly than several other Florida communities, with its 4,500 housing starts over the past year outpacing Jacksonville, with 3,300 starts, and South Florida, with about 4,000, Metrostudy data show.

Record-low interest rates, rebounding consumer confidence and tightening supplies of resale homes are inspiring builders to get back to work after a bust in which the nation's new-home supply sank to a 50-year low.

Builders pulled more than 3,800 building permits for single-family homes in Tampa Bay in the first eight months of 2012, a 26 percent jump over the same period in 2011, U.S. Census data show.

"The builders I talk with are more confident and feel better than they have in the last six years," said local housing analyst Marvin Rose. "We've got a little momentum, and we hope it continues."

Housing analysts predict new construction will kick into higher gear next year.

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