March is historically one of the busiest months of the year for the Tampa area real estate market. But while we saw a typical month-over-month increase in home sales, March saw home sales decrease year-over-year, and that is congruent with what is happening on a national level. As was predicted, home sales have been slowing down. But it's important to recognize that this is a sign of the market returning back to a healthy equilibrium as there has still been an increase in sales price year-over-year. It will be important to watch what happens over the next few months as one of the determining factors in the market shift was increasing interest rates but, though we expected them to be above 5% by this point, they have actually returned to the rates we were seeing in January 2018 before the year's dramatic increases. Some people right now may even be able to qualify for rates lower than 4%. Certainly some of March's statistics imply that this has already caused a slight swing back to a seller's market
Over $1.5 billion of residential real estate was sold in March 2019 in the Tampa Bay area, up $20 million from March 2018. There were 7,239 new listings (5.6% less than this time last year). Homes sold for 97.9% of their list price, down .1% since last March but the exact same as February. Months of available inventory dropped back to 3; that is around where it hovered every month last year and puts us back into a seller's market for the time being.
In March, the number of home sales combined in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties was 5,449 - a decrease year-over-year of 4.4% and a month-over-month increase of 21.4%. As March has three more days during which homes can be sold (in comparison to February), it always seems like there is a larger month-over-month increase. Taken by homes sold per day, the increase was smaller (10.8%). Of the total home sales, Hillsborough county was responsible for 2,173, Pasco had 1,188, and Pinellas had 2,088.
In the tri-county area, the average home price decreased month-over-month by 0.97% and rose year-over-year by 5.4%. The average sales price was $276,079 in Hillsborough, $210,937 in Pasco, $324,154 in Pinellas, and $270,390 overall. Just like the last few months though, the average price for March is distorted by an astoundingly high average price in Pinellas county. Hillsborough and Pasco saw small increases in average prices ($1,000 and $4,000, respectively), but Pinellas county's average jumped up by $38,000.
In March 2019, the median time homes were on the market before going under contract was 35 days, up 11 days from last year and down 2 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. Pricing a home within the correct range at the time it goes on market is going to be even more important in the coming months as homes that are priced higher than they should will ultimately end up taking much longer to sell than they have in previous years.
Whether you are thinking of selling or buying a home, please let me help guide you through the process. It helps to have a local and knowledgeable Realtor working for you as there are many steps to take on either side. I can even help you 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 deciding whether it's the right time for you to buy a home, please contact me directly as I'd be happy to provide local, expert advice.
Keller Williams Tampa Properties
5020 W Linebaugh Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33618