Bidding Wars are Breaking Out: Is Tampa Bay Becoming a Seller’s Market?

Waterfront Homes in St. Petersburg, Florida

Did you see the front page of today’s Tampa Bay Times?  I’ve been saying for awhile that based on the Greater Tampa Association of Realtor’s statistics, we were teetering on a Seller’s Market in many areas of Tampa Bay.  According to the numbers, we are now at a 5.4 month’s supply of homes for sale (anything below 6 is considered a Seller’s Market!)

Here’s a snippet from the article in today’s paper:

“Last month, Barry Barker put his home in New Tampa on the market. He expected it would take six months to land a buyer.

The house sold in six days.

Two dozen people toured the property, producing six offers. All of them matched or topped Barker’s asking price of $225,000.

“That’s what shocked me,” Barker said Monday. “I had no idea that many people were looking for houses.”

The sudden demand has sent real estate agents scrambling.

“People are desperate now for houses,” said Tony Delgado, an agent with Homeward Real Estate in South Tampa. “It’s a seller’s market.”

That’s a phrase not uttered in these parts for years.

The housing crash and foreclosure crisis flooded the market with inventory as the recession and tight credit dried up the supply of buyers.

Recently, without much fanfare, the situation began to change.

Investors bought up a lot of bargain-priced homes available through short sales and foreclosures. An improving economy and record low interest rates sent regular buyers looking for houses in areas not saturated with distressed homes.

But owners in those areas were not putting up “for sale” signs, continuing to assume that a depressed market meant they would not get a good price for their homes.

In short: Supply went down as demand went up.”

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

In this Realtor’s opinion, I am seeing certain areas of Tampa Bay recovering faster than others.  For example, South Tampa, Davis Island, The Heights District, and much of Pinellas County – especially waterfront homes in St. Petersburg and homes in the Old Northeast Historic District of downtown St. Petersburg – are moving.  When you get out into some of the more western communities like Riverview, Ruskin and Gibsonton, prices are still quite reasonable compared to the days of 2005, but investors are buying up many of the inexpensive homes that are foreclosures and short sales so inventory is shrinking there as well.

There remains speculation that banks are “holding back” with foreclosure inventory.  I haven’t seen much of it trickle through yet, so I’m of the opinion that I’ll believe it when I see it – they’ve been saying this for over a year now.  In fact when searching for homes for buyers, I’m noticing that the foreclosure (REO) properties are often selling higher than the short sales – so I’m not sure REO inventory will negatively impact the market so much anyway if that trend continues.  Why you may ask?  Because people perceive foreclosures to be the best deal in down, and often cause a bidding war, driving the price of the foreclosure up over asking price.  This is happening with some short sales too, but I see it more with the foreclosures recently.

The moral of the story is – if you have been waiting to sell your home because you thought the market was still a Buyer’s Market – think again and get the opinion of a licensed Realtor.  Of course, I would love to be that Realtor!  (And for goodness sakes, don’t believe Zillow’s Zestimate – here’s why!)  If you’d like a free, no pressure, no obligation as to the value of your home in today’s market, please fill out this form and I’ll be in touch with you shortly.  It might just be the perfect time to sell your Tampa Bay home!

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  1. Bugs Bunny says

    Liane, stop trying to blow smoke up our asses. Question: How do you know a real estate agent is lying? Answer: Her mouth is moving. Always has been true, always will be, particularly in Florida where newbies arrive every day.

    • says

      Dear “Bugs”:
      If you feel that way have the decency to leave a real name and email address so I can properly respond. No one is blowing any smoke here. I’m having offers I submit for buyers turned down every week due to multiple offer situations. The numbers don’t lie – check them out – sales are up.

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