I love helping families find homes and for the past four months it has been quite the job. The housing inventory in Tampa and the surrounding area is very low for homes in certain price ranges (for example, under $200,000). My experience has been that homes in good condition, in a desirable neighborhood are getting mutiple offers within in the first couple of days they are listed. And, I’ve noticed sellers are giving less concessions (for example, paying the buyer‘s closing costs) and are sticking to their asking price.
The market for short sale homes is practically a competitive sport. Generally, any home under $100,000 is very desirable for investors because they make cash offers. In recent months, I’ve written offers for homes in the $150,000 price range and lost out to investors. They realize the market is heating up and have upped what they are willing to pay in cash to get a house by 50%.
I was thinking about this over my coffee this morning so I got online and did a little research. FloridaRealtors posted a recent article about the strengthening market and the first line is “Lower-priced homes, which fell the most in price during the housing bust, are showing more zip as the housing market strengthens.” Hmmm exactly what I’ve noticed. The article goes on to say that across the country lower priced homes are selling quickly even with slightly higher pricing due to two factors: investors and fewer distressed sales. Here is the link to read the full article. It’s a short quick read: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=284452
Next I looked data specific to Tampa. A local blog was posted a few months ago that is very informative. The first paragraph says it all:
“With just under 8,000 homes for sale in Tampa currently listed in the Tampa MLS, buyers have many choices to review when they go shopping for a home in the higher price ranges. But homes priced below $350K are actually fairly competitive for buyers, while homes above $500K have so much supply that it will take years for the market correction to finish.”
The blog goes on to confirm what I’ve experienced–it is a seller’s market in homes under $250,000. This blog is also a very good read and has a great graph detailing price vs. home sales. http://www.thecentralfloridarealestatesite.com/blog/
In a competitive market like this, your best resource in your house hunt is a commited agent. Everyday I check the MLS to see what new homes are on the market and meet my client’s needs. Even with this, it’s taking months to find the “right” house sometimes! But don’t give up and I won’t either. Happy holidays! Toni