Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tampa Bay area real estate update
Homes in the Tampa Bay area are now selling for the same prices as ten years ago. August continued the slow downward price slide to $89 per square foot. That is 7% lower than last August and 4% lower than July. An average home lost $13,000 of its sale price. The number of homes sold increased by 2% but the total number of listings decreased by 1.5%.
The price decline in the greater Tampa area has been relentless. July home prices were down 3.6% from a year ago. June saw a 2.52% decline. Prices for May were 4.74% lower. The statistics remain very similar whether distressed property sales are included or excluded. Nearly 50% of all existing home sales in the area are now distressed properties. The Tampa area has seen slightly smaller price declines than Florida as a whole and prices have leveled off when averaged nationally.
Pinellas County was hardest hit in the Tampa Bay area for August. Sales of single family homes decreased by 8.1% for the month. Sales price lost almost 5% compared to the previous year. Average home price for Pinellas dropped to $135,000. While condominium sales in Pinellas were up 8.1% for August the median sale price of a condo lost 17.2% compared to a year ago.
Budget and staffing cuts within the Pinellas County, Florida government are affecting real estate and real estate investors. Starting October 4, the Pinellas County foreclosure auction will go on-line, replacing the current live daily auctions at the Clearwater and Saint Petersburg courthouses. The monthly tax deed sales will follow on October 20. Moving these auctions on-line will ease pressure on staff in the Clerk of the Court’s office. Pressure has not let up this year as foreclosures in Pinellas County continue to roll in at the rate of 1,000 per month, only very slightly below the rate for 2009.
In Clearwater, the City Council members have voted to purchase an entire city block in the East Gateway neighborhood. The decision was unanimous. The $1.675-million purchase will be funded by a $1.9-million loan from Clearwater’s Central Insurance Fund. Immediate plans are to put the purchase in a land bank. The city will decide what to do with the property at a later time. Involved is 2.2 acres of land with buildings including two motels, a restaurant, two duplexes and a single family home. This is a high crime area bordered by Cleveland Street, Grove Street, Betty Lane and Lincoln Avenue.