Tampa Bay housing market above national average

- From his South Tampa driveway, the resurgent housing market in Tampa Bay is on full display to Eric Turman.

Three houses are being built within 100 feet of his home.

"We have had three or four teardowns, just within sight," he said."I was one of the upper medium size houses in this area and I'll probably be one of the smaller houses."

Thursday afternoon, broker Ali St. Cyr showed a 2,700 sq. ft. Bayshore Blvd. condo to potential buyer Ron Steger and his wife.

"We are thinking about a downtown lifestyle," he said.

On Thursday, Zillow said since last year, average home prices in Tampa Bay are up by 12 percent to $181,000.

St. Cyr credits promises of downtown development and corporate headquarter relocations.

"You really do have to educate your buyers and sellers of what happens when a home is on the market, if it is priced well, it's going to go in a week," she said.

She points out that in January of 2007, 975 homes were sold in Tampa Bay for an average of $271,000. This month, 1,330 have been sold for an average of $181,000. And even that, she says, is OK.

"Even though the demand is high, it's not pushing up the real estate prices to an unhealthy rate where we would start putting people into homes they can't necessarily afford."

While Tampa Bay home values are up by 12 percent, around the US they're up only 7.2 percent. Nationwide, prices are still higher, one point away from peak value in April of 2007.

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