What Tampa Bay Neighborhoods Will See Home Values Climb The Most In 2016

Dated: January 19 2016

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What Tampa Bay neighborhoods will see home values climb the most in 2016? 

Monday, January 18, 2016 11:28am  from TampaBay.com/tbt

Looking for the Tampa Bay neighborhood forecast to show the biggest increase in home values in 2016? Try the Terrace Park area south of the University of South Florida.

According to Zillow, values in Terrace Park could shoot up 6.7 percent this year, two full percentage points higher than in runnerup Seminole Heights.

Other bay area hot spots are Tampa's Fair Oaks and St. Petersburg's Snell Isle, Bartlett Park and Central Oak Park, Zillow predicts.

Terrace Park, bounded by USF to the north, Busch Boulevard to the south, 30th Street to the west and Temple Terrace to the east, may seem a surprising choice for "hottest" designation. Affordable prices, though, are the reason — in the 33612 ZIP code, which includes most of Terrace Park, all but seven of the homes sold in the past six months went for less than $300,000 and the vast majority sold for below $200,000.

"It's an area that for a long time has been kind of overlooked," said Andrew Duncan of Tampa's Duncan Duo & Associates. "You've seen some of our markets priced out for the average employee, so people naturally are looking for parts of town that have a reasonable commute and access to restaurants and shopping. That's also an area with a nice synergy, a good mix of older homes as well as some block construction that's more recent."

Closer to downtown Tampa, values in Seminole Heights are forecast to rise 4.7 percent this year. The historic neighborhood continues to attract buyers with its charming bungalows, restaurants, brewpubs and independent businesses.

Lesser known — at least by name — is Tampa's Fair Oaks area, bordered by Euclid Avenue on the north, Manhattan Avenue on the west, Gandy Boulevard to the south and Himes Avenue to the east.

Fair Oaks, where values are expected to rise 4.3 percent, shares a ZIP code with million-dollar mansions on Bayshore Boulevard. But its homes are far more modestly priced and are easily accessible to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and Dale Mabry Highway with its multitude of restaurants and stores.

In Pinellas County, proximity to booming downtown St. Petersburg is driving up values in neighborhoods both upscale and not-so-much, Zillow says.

In waterfront Snell Isle, values are expected to rise 4.3 percent as many smaller homes are replaced by McMansions.

At the other end of the price scale are Bartlett Park, south of downtown, and Central Oak Park, which straddles Central Avenue between 34th Street and 49th Street. Those areas could see values rise 4.6 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, Zillow says.

Bartlett Park's inclusion on the list surprised Realtor Scott Samuels. On a square-footage basis, Samuels said, prices increased only from $38 to $44.

"That's not movement to me," he said. "I don't see anything happening there at all."

Could that be an area of interest to investors?

"The whole south St. Petersburg corridor is investor-oriented," Samuels said, "because the users have not come back from what they went through losing their houses. We don't have a lot of owner-occupied users buying in neighborhoods under $100,000, because they can't qualify for loans."

Not far from Bartlett Park, though, "there's a little boom going on" near All Children's and Bayfront hospitals, he said.

But the area that is "just on fire," as Samuels put it, is Central Oak Park.

Last year, 229 homes there sold at an average price of $55 per square foot. But sales within the past six months averaged $86 per square foot, and the 32 homes now on the market are priced at $111 per square foot.

Why does Central Oak Park seem to be shaping up as Tampa Bay's next hottest neighborhood?

"Because the further you push to the west, it gets very expensive," Samuels said. "And when you get on the other side of 34th Street, you're in Kenwood and from there it's Woodlawn and too close to downtown. That's why (Central Oak Park) is growing fast, really fast."

To predict home values in metro areas as well as in individual neighborhoods, Zillow uses historical data plus factors affecting current market conditions, including unemployment rates, home sales and months of supply of housing inventory.

Florida does not have a single metro area in Zillow's top 10 "hottest" housing markets for 2016. No. 1 is Denver, followed by Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth, "all of which are major tech towns, ideal for job growth," Zillow says.

Also making the top 10 are Richmond, Va.; Ogden and Salt Lake City in Utah; Omaha, Neb.; Boise, Idaho; Portland, Ore.; and Sacramento, Calif.

Contact Susan Taylor Martinat smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

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