By: Susan Taylor Martin, Tampa Bay Times
The median price for a single-family house jumped 12.6 percent in July, the ninth straight month of double-digit, year-over-year increases. The steady rise continued to be spurred by a tight supply of available homes, with 4.3 percent fewer houses sold in July than in the same month a year earlier.
“We still have demand out there that’s not being met with the amount of supply,” Charles Richardson, senior regional vice president of Coldwell Banker, said Wednesday. “It’s a great time to come on to the market as a seller — if I was thinking of selling I’d want to be in this market. It’s crazy to see it last this long on the demand side.”
Added Richardson: “We’re looking for listings!”
Of the four bay area counties, Hernando tallied the biggest median price gain in July, up 20.3 percent to $142,000. That was followed by Pasco, up 16.5 percent to $183,620; Pinellas, up 16.2 percent to $214,950; and Hillsborough, up 9.3 percent to $223,995.
Overall, the bay area had just a 3.3 month supply of available homes in July. That contributed to the drop in sales, the first time in a year that sales were less than in the same month a year earlier.
“When you look at months of supply as a barometer, it’s still at a very historically low level,” Richardson said. “Economists tell us that a six-month housing supply is a market in equilibrium (between buyers and sellers). Right now it’s just over a three months supply, but it’s particularly low at the lower end of the market.”
The greatest demand in July continued to be for houses under $300,000 — “we have buyers waiting in line (for those),” Richardson said. But one of the most striking aspects of the July figures was the continued boom in ultra-luxury home sales: Three mansions, all in Hillsborough, went for more than $6 million.
That brings to seven the total number of Tampa Bay homes that have sold for at least $6 million this year. In 2015, there was no residential sale for more than $5-million.
July’s top price was $6.625 million for the 10,850-square-foot estate of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano in South Tampa’s gated Culbreath Isles.
Runnerup was the Mediterranean-style home in Beach Park that sold for $6.4 million to Joey Redner, founder of Cigar City Brewing, and his wife, Jennifer. And a trust paid just over $6 million for a 4-acre estate overlooking South Tampa’s Palma Ceia golf course.
All three sales were cash deals.
In Pinellas County, July’s priciest sale was $3.8 million for a gulffront home built in 1935 on St. Petersburg Beach. South Pinellas in general remained strong, especially in and around downtown St. Petersburg.
“Our team is busier than ever; we’ve had record-breaking sales this year,” said agent Bonnie Strickland, who listed a Snell Isle estate that went for $3.7 million, the most paid for any home in the 33704 ZIP code in five years. “I don’t see it doing anything but continue to go up; I haven’t seen any signs of a slowdown.”
In Pasco County, a 6,373-square-foot home in Trinity’s Champions Club Florencia Village sold for $1.825 million — the top price for any Pasco home in two years. And Hernando’s most expensive property was a Key West-style home on 23 acres in Brooksville that brought $555,900.
July prices for Tampa Bay condos and townhomes rose even more than for single family homes, up 15.4 percent to a median of $135,000.
For Florida as a whole, year-over-year sales of single-family homes dropped 8 percent in July while the median price rose 11.6 percent, to $223,238.
“Florida’s supply of for-sale homes remains tight, which is putting pressure on median prices and having a dampening effect on closed sales,” said Matey H. Veissi, president of Florida Realtors. “But the state’s strong jobs outlook and growing economy are attracting more and more new residents, which provides a solid foundation for the housing market.”