Summer home buying season expected to be a hot one, including in Tampa

The start of the summer vacation season has already brought heat waves to Central Florida — only the weather isn’t the only thing heating up these days.

The local housing market, which was quite strong during the spring, is expected to positively sizzle during the summer months.

That’s traditionally been the case. With the kids out of school, prospective homebuyers tend to ramp up their search for a home. They hope to get moved in before the new school season begins in mid-August.

Buyers already in the market are smart. Home prices have been escalating all year and there’s no reason to expect them being falling. If you’re serious about buying a home, here’s some good advice: act fast.

Why wait for prices to soar even higher?

Domain Homes constructs brand new houses in some of the Tampa Bay area’s most desirable neighborhoods. These are ideal locations for families looking to take advantage of Tampa’s strong economy so they can start a new life here.

Summer heat hits the housing market

It’s no surprise the housing market is doing well. Late last year, the National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all predicted home sales would heat up throughout 2017, following a very strong 2016.

Across the nation, NAR predicted that home sales would reach 6 million in 2017.

By spring, their predictions seemed to be right on target. Zillow issued its April 2017 Zillow Real Estate Market Report. It found that nationally, U.S. home values had risen so quickly they surpassed the peak during the previous high in 2006-2007.

In fact, Zillow found that the median home value in the U.S. was $198,000 in April.

That’s 1 percent higher than the peak value in 2007.

Zillow says home values rose 7.3 percent nationwide between April 2016 and this past April. That marked the strongest appreciation rate in more than a decade.

The top three cities with the greatest home value growth so far this year have been Seattle, Dallas and Tampa — where home values rose by 11 percent year-over-year.

Tampa’s housing market heat

Investopedia, the website that focuses on investing education and financial news, just ranked Tampa as the No. 1 city in the country on its list of healthiest housing markets.

Tampa ranked ahead of cities like Dallas (#2), Columbus (#3), Las Vegas (#4) and Jacksonville (#5).

Tampa even ranked above major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Because of their sky-high costs, both ended up on Investopedia’s list of the unhealthiest housing markets in the nation.

What makes Tampa Bay’s housing market so strong? As Investopedia noted, the job market is a major strength.

Employment is up 3 percent in the region. That’s higher than the national average, and job growth has been accelerating for the past five years.

A healthy job market brings people in search of new opportunities. Once they land a job, they start looking for a home. No wonder Tampa’s housing market is doing so well.

Eager buyers on the hunt

There are plenty of reasons so many buyers are jumping into the market. Mortgage rates remain at historic lows, and the job market nationally and in Florida is strong.

More jobs means healthier financial situations for most families.

Inventory remains low

A major challenge confronting them is low inventory. After the recession hit, a lot of properties got purchased by investors.

When the housing market improved, plenty of those investors opted to rent those properties rather than put them back on the market. That’s lead to a shortage of available homes to buy.

Younger millennial buyers, who were kept out of the housing market when the economy was struggling to create jobs, are now rushing into the market. The healthy state of the economy is a big reason for that.

Because inventory remains a challenge. In the first quarter of 2017, the number of homes on the market took a steep drop.

That’s particularly true for starter homes, which plummeted in inventory by 8.7 percent from 2016 to 2017, and for trade-up homes, down by 7.9 percent.

On the other hand, according to, homes that do get placed on the market sell quickly. In the first quarter of 2017, it took just 34 days to sell a house. That’s the fastest pace in five years.

That’s why Domain Homes is committed to building brand new homes in the Tampa Bay area’s most appealing and desirable neighborhoods. We’re dedicated to giving prospective buyers the opportunity to pursue the American dream of homeownership.

With Tampa Bay’s economy red hot and on fire right now, providing some of the most impressive job creation in the country, Domain Homes is building beautiful new houses at affordable prices for the people relocating here.

Will it last?

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, noted that the spring buying season was a great one, and all signs point to continued housing market strength.

“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” he said. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings … for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

Domain Homes is working hard to continue building first-rate new homes in the Tampa Bay area, where a very strong economy is luring hundreds of newcomers to the city.

We plan to keep giving them the option of buying not only a new home, but one in Tampa Bay’s best-rated neighborhoods.

But it’s important to move quickly. The home buying season was a very strong one in the spring, and early signals are that it will get even hotter throughout the summer.

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