Home Buying Ain’t What it Used to Be

Anybody who has lived around the Bay for long enough can tell you that the market has its ups and downs, but as new and prospective home buyers can tell you: the market is DEFINITELY up!

After a faster-than-expected recovery from the bust of 2006, the market in the Tampa Bay region has rebounded and then some and is showing no signs of slowing down. As one gets closer and closer to the water, one notices those little “For Sale” signs on the corner seem to stay up for shorter and shorter amounts of time. That’s because now, as ever, people in Florida want to live near the water. Couple this demand spike with the cache that has built up around some neighborhoods like Old Northeast or Palma Ceia and the “standard” 3 bedroom, 2 bath American home can go for prices as high as $500,000.00!

When combined with the banks’ response to the credit crisis of 2006 of decreased lending and tighter restrictions on qualifications for good loans, many young people and people of moderate income alike, are increasingly feeling “squeezed out” of the neighborhoods they grew up in. With still sluggish employment, and with many of those new jobs we hear about wanting more education for less and less pay, many young people have turned in the American Dream of the white picket fence for a deluxe apartment in the sky (RIP Mr. Jefferson). Especially in the booming downtown St. Pete and SoHo areas, apartment complex living has become the new norm for young professionals in our area. But as these options become increasingly popular, and as Tamp Bay continues to attract more young people and increased national and international attention as a “hot spot” to live, the prices on even these living arrangements will soon be too high to control.
With the housing market the way it is today, it is definitely good to be a seller; but if this trend keeps up, many of folks will be left wondering, “What about us?”