During January- a traditionally slow month for real estate sales- over $939 million dollars of residential real estate was sold in the Tampa Bay area. There were 7,018 new listings put on the market, and homes sold for an average of 97.6% of their asking price (higher if they were priced right from the beginning). And according to the Tampa Bay Times, now is the most profitable time to sell a home in more than 10 years.
In January, the total number of residential home sales combined in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties was 3,735, a 7.5% decrease year-over-year compared to January 2017, and down month-over-month by 33.5% from December 2017. Hillsborough county was responsible for 1,473 of these sales, Pasco had 847, and Pinellas had 1,415. Both the year-over-year and month-over-month decreases are not worrisome, however, as there are several potential reasons the market could have seen these changes. December is a popular month to purchase homes, with people wanting to secure their property before the end of the year so they can apply for their homestead exemption, and because owning property can have beneficial tax breaks going into the new year. It's also a convenient time for people to move as they already have time scheduled off of work to spend looking at and moving into a new home. All of these added benefits make December a notoriously busy month for real estate sales, so the change in the numbers seems more dramatic when January rolls around. As for the small yet still noticeable year-over-year decrease, it may be due in part to the fact that there was less down payment assistance available this January than last year, and that interest rates have gone up since then as well.
In the tri-county area, the average home prices rose 11% year-over-year but were down by 3.8% month-over-month. The average sales price was $268,424 in Hillsborough, $188,470 in Pasco, $272,664 in Pinellas, and $243,186 overall. An 11% growth year-over-year indicates a strong market, but not one that is getting out of control, and a 3.8% decrease from December is to be expected given the amount of activity happening in the market at the end of the year.
The median time homes were listed before going under contract was 29 days in January 2018, down 12.9% year-over-year from January 2017 when it was 33 days, but up 18.9% month-over-month from December 2017 when it was 24 days. Though homes are staying on the market slightly longer now than they were last year, accurately priced homes are still selling in less than a month.
Over the last 12 months, inventory levels have been hovering around the 3 - 4 month mark. When inventory levels are below 6 months it's considered a seller's market, and more than 6 months of inventory is considered a buyer's market. Many buyers have been feeling the effects of the strong seller's market, and this was evidenced throughout January as less homes were available to be sold. That being said, with rising interest rates, now is still a great time to buy, as your purchasing power goes down with every mortgage rate increase.
Remember, though, real estate is hyper-local and what's happening in your neighborhood could dramatically differ from someone else's. If you're looking for a customized analysis of your home's current value or help in deciding whether it's the right time for you to buy in your dream community, contact me directly and I'd be happy to provide local, expert advice.
Keller Williams Tampa Properties
5020 W Linebaugh Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33618