In-state movers keep Tampa Bay's housing market hot

It may technically be winter, but Tampa Bay's housing market is still as hot as ever, according to a recent national study by the Urban Land Institute, a group that tracks real estate trends.

The Urban Land Institute teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers to release its Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022 report and Tampa Bay ranks as of the five hottest real estate markets in 2022.

"It has been a real explosion of people moving to the area," said Mary Ann Porter, managing broker at Tomlin St. Cyr Real Estate Services in Tampa. "We have had record sales, so there's definitely people selling and definitely lots of people buying."

Among the more recent trends in Tampa Bay: people are moving to the area from South Florida in search of more affordable housing in the Sunshine State.

"We are definitely seeing referrals come into the office of people wanting to move again [from South Florida]," Porter said. "It's the cost of living and real estate; everything is a lot higher down in that area. We still have many of the same wonderful reasons why people choose to move there, it's just we're more affordable."

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The market, however, isn't affordable for everyone.

The rising costs of homes for sale is pushing a lot of potential buyers into the rental market. As a result, Florida has a seen a 30-percent increase in average rent prices this year, which is the biggest spike in the country. Currently, a one-bedroom apartment rental is averaging more than $1,400 a month in Florida.

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"I hope that, you know, maybe the appreciation rate of our of our houses and our housing kind of tapers down a little bit. And, you know, maybe we'll get into a little more balanced market," Porter said.

That's what Tampa Mayor Jane Castor hopes too.

"One of the focuses of Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow is affordable housing," she said, adding rental assistance is among the programs available through the city for eligible families. "We have our Dare to Own program where we provide up to $30,000 for a down payment for first-time home-buyers and then our home improvement as well. We want people to be able to stay in their home and so we're offering up to $50,000 for that program."

Information about these programs can be found on the city's website for housing programs.