Tampa Economy and Real Estate Market October, 2013
Strong Price Growth Continues in September
Tampa home prices continued to show strong year over year growth in September although off some 7% from the peak this July. A spike in interest rates in May consprired with the government shutdown and normal seasonal slowdown to slow both prices and sales into the fall.
While inventories have trended back up from record low levels they remain historically low at 4.6 months. 6 months is considered a balanced market so technically sellers are still favored in the resale market.
Even with the recent price gains Tampa remains one of the most affordable markets in the U.S.: 76% of middle class familes are able to afford an average priced home according to recent reports. Along with strong economic fundamentals and employment growth, affordability shows continued promise going forward.
One of the major underlying reasons for the strong real estate recovery in Tampa has been employment. After seeing rates peak of over 12 1/2% in 2012, Tampa has staged a remarkable recovery. Unemployment has returned to national average rates and was under 7% for most of the spring and summer of 2013. With the August unemployment rate back to 7% after a brief pullback in June and July, the total nonfarm employment is the highest it has been in a six-month perio . Construction activity has also been a strong performer recently where it had been virtually non-existent previously. According to Forbes, Tampa was the 16th most active new construction market in the United States as of mid 2013.