Last month the national media was in a frenzy about the decline of home sales, yet this month the Wall Street Journal reported that, "The U.S. homeownership rate climbed [...] to the highest level in nearly five years." As mortgage rates remain low and national and local programs aimed at assisting first time home buyers become more widespread, many people who previously were not able to attain homeownership are now finding it easier to do so. This month, the $15,000 down payment assistance program is now back for first time buyers in the Tampa Bay Area, so please reach out to me if you would like further information.
In February in the Tampa Bay area, over $1.2 billion of residential real estate was sold, up $146 million from February 2018 and up $269 million from January 2019. There were 6,502 newly listed homes, nearly the exact same number as February last year and down 9.4% from January. As February is three days shorter than January, this actually equates to only two fewer listings per day, indicating there are still plenty of home owners starting to list their homes, even in this changing market. Homes sold for 97.9% of their list price, on par with last February, and up .3% from January. Months of available inventory dropped slightly to four months as lower interest rates encouraged buyers to continue buying homes; but that is still higher than most of last year when we were hovering around 2 - 3 months of available inventory. (A balanced market- meaning neither a strong buyer's nor strong seller's market- is 6 months.)
In February, the number of home sales combined in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties was 4,396 - an increase year-over-year of 1.8% and a month-over-month increase of 24.4%. January is always the slowest month of the year for home sales, so the month-over-month increase always looks larger for February. Of the total home sales, Hillsborough county was responsible for 1,841, Pasco had 915, and Pinellas had 1,640.
In the tri-county area, the average home price increased month-over-month by 0.95% and rose year-over-year by 9.7%. The average sales price was $268,979 in Hillsborough, $208,138 in Pasco, $341,940 in Pinellas, and $273,019 overall. Just like last month, the average home price for February was distorted by a very high average price in Pinellas county. Hillsborough county and Pasco county both saw small increases in year-over-year average prices as well ($7,600 and $5,000, respectively), but Pinellas county's average home price jumped $64,000 year-over-year to the highest it's ever been. Fun fact: 75 of the homes that sold in Pinellas were over $1 million, versus 16 in Hillsborough and 1 in Pasco.
In February 2019, the median time homes were on the market in before going under contract was 37 days, up 11 days from last year and 5 days from last month. Time on market is one of the biggest indicating factors of a slowing market, and it is important for sellers to understand the implications of that on their specific situation.
Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, I would love to help guide you through the process. There are a lot of steps to take on either side, and it helps to have a local and knowledgeable Realtor working for you (even if you're buying new construction!).
Remember, real estate is hyper-local and what's happening in your neighborhood could dramatically differ from someone else's. If you'd like a customized analysis of your home's current value or help in deciding whether it's the right time for you personally to buy a home, 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