Pinellas County Where Prices Soar

Dated: March 24 2016

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Tampa Bay area home prices soar as inventory remains low

ByYvette C. Hammett

Published: March 21, 2016 Updated: March 22, 2016 at 06:22 AM

The median sale price for homes in the state was $200,000, up 11.1 percent compared to February 2015. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

Home prices increased 16.1 percent to a median of $180,000 in the Tampa metro area in February and even higher in Pinellas County, where prices soared 21.6 percent to a median of $189,700 for a single family home.

Prices in Hillsborough County rose 13 percent in February, with the median price of a house at $200,000, Florida Realtors reported in its latest research release.

Inventory of homes available for sale stayed low last month, continuing a sellers market. Sellers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area received 95.6 percent of their original asking price.

Overall, Florida’s housing market saw increased median sale prices and some new listings in February, with closed sales about the same level as a year ago.

The median sale price for homes in the state was $200,000, up 11.1 percent compared to February 2015.

Statewide, home sellers got 95.3 percent of their original asking price, up 1.1 percent year over year, Florida Realtors reported.

“Realtors across the state are reporting great interest from buyers, but with inventory levels still tight for single-family homes, the search can take some time,” said 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. “New listings increased in February, which is good news for would-be buyers; for existing single-family homes, new listings rose 12.1 percent compared to a year ago; new listings are up 15 percent for townhouse-condo units.”

Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis rolled out several changes to its housing market data report. The new calculation method for new listings does not include listings for properties that were on the market, then signed new contracts within a couple of months to go back on the market.

Florida Realtors chief economist Brad O’Connor said the new method ensures accuracy.

Nationally, the median home sale price was $210,800 in February, the National Association of Realtors reported. Home sales suffered a steep drop-off nationwide, reversing months of gains as low inventories weigh on the real estate market.

The NAR reported sales of existing homes fell 7.1 percent last month, following robust yearly sales rates in January and in December 2015.

The housing market enters the traditional spring buying season facing a quandary: There are few properties listed for sale even with steady job gains and low mortgage rates, the NAR reported.

Florida, too, continues to see that tight inventory, with a 4.5-month supply in February. That was down 13.5 percent year over year.

Florida is faring better in pricing, however. February marked the 51st consecutive month that statewide median sales prices for both single family homes and townhouse-condos rose year over year.

Closed sales of single family homes in the Tampa metro area were up 4.9 percent in February. New listings were up 9.7 percent. Closed sales on townhouse-condos were down 1.8 percent in the region with new listings up 13.3 percent.

Closed sales on homes in Pinellas County last month rose by 3.2 percent. New listings rose 15.2 percent. Closed sales on townhouse-condos were up 1.3 percent and new listings rose 8.6 percent.

In Hillsborough County closed sales for single family homes were up 24.5 percent. New listings increased by 9 percent. For townhouse-condo properties, closed sales were up 15.6 percent compared to February 2015. New listings on those properties increased 16.4 percent.

yhammett@tampatrib.com

@Yvette_Hammett

(813) 259-7127

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