The housing market in the Tampa Bay area has been strong throughout the year. It’s been helped by the fact that the job market is also in good shape, and home prices are still affordable compared to other parts of the country.
At the same time, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area just got another interesting distinction: a growing number of residents here are living in million-dollar neighborhoods.
If that sounds like a contradiction, it’s not.
In fact, even residents earning modest incomes could be living in one of those million-dollar Tampa Bay neighborhoods.
Thanks to steady population growth, in the past year the region gained two more ZIP code areas — downtown St. Petersburg’s 33701 and South Tampa’s 33609 — where at least 10 percent of the homes are worth $1 million or more.
That brings the total number of Tampa Bay’s high-end ZIP codes to six.
It doesn’t mean that everyone living in one of those zip codes earns a million dollars annually, or has a million dollar home, obviously. But it’s still an impressive figure since it marks a bigger one-year gain than in many other metro areas.
It also reflects the growing demand for luxury condos in St. Petersburg with a view of the ocean. That’s considered a key reason why the 33701-zip was added to the list.
So how did Tampa Bay get here? Only a decade ago, the state of Florida was about to see its housing market crash and home values plummet. The Sunshine State got tagged as one of the worst in the nation for home foreclosures.
What is driving Tampa Bay’s population growth?
One key factor has been jobs.
In the last few years, as the economy has gotten stronger and the unemployment rate has fallen below 5 percent, Florida and the Tampa Bay area, in particular, have outpaced the nation when it comes to job growth.
With the allure of a healthy job market, access to the beaches and year-round tropical weather, both Florida and Tampa have been gaining new residents at a steady pace.
Tampa has attracted jobs in very high demand fields, including science, engineering, and technology.
But not everyone moving to the region is looking for a job. There’s a healthy mix of those relocating here to take advantage of employment opportunities. But there’s also a decent number of people looking to buy second homes or to have a vacation spot in the paradise of the Bay area.
Currently, of those six-million-dollar ZIP codes in Tampa Bay, four have been added since 2014 – just as the economy began getting stronger. South Tampa was one of the big winners.
Which million-dollar Tampa Bay neighborhoods got covered?
Those new zip codes include:
- 33606, which covers South Tampa, including Bayshore, Davis Islands and Hyde Park Village;
- 33609, also in South Tampa, including the Westshore waterfront and Beach Park, and West Morrison Avenue to the south;
- 33701, which covers downtown St. Petersburg and the Old Southeast area;
- And 33767, which is Clearwater Beach.
Ocean paradise is calling to many newcomers.
Real estate site Zillow reported that 33701 and 33609 were the two latest to be added to the list of the region’s new million dollar zip codes.
As life along the ocean becomes more popular for those who can afford it, $1 million homes have become increasingly common in St. Petersburg and South Tampa.
Does this mean people are getting priced out?
It may sound worrisome to people relocating to Tampa that there are more million-dollar zip codes, but the truth is that homes priced at $1 million or more are hardly the norm in the Tampa Bay area. In fact, Tampa Bay is the opposite of a city like San Francisco, where homes near $1 million are the affordable ones.
In Tampa Bay, having a growing number of million-dollar homes can be a good thing. It demonstrates to the business community that Tampa Bay is a region on the move. It shows that investing here is a smart decision when it comes to starting a business or relocating one.
At the same time, Zillow has noted that Tampa Bay continues to be one of the best locations in the country for first-time home buyers.
Even as Florida’s economy keeps getting hotter, Central Florida remains one of the nation’s best markets for first-time buyers. Orlando and Tampa are close to the top of the list, Zillow notes.
Why are first-time buyers coming to Tampa?
That’s because both cities have a higher than average supply of homes on the market, at a time when low inventory is making it extremely challenging for buyers across the nation to find a home.
Orlando and Tampa also benefit from prices closer to the national average of $200,400 than homes in the million-dollar range.
At the same time, Zillow notes that both cities are projected to benefit from solid appreciation in value. Those first-time home buyers who purchase a home in Tampa Bay will see their value rise in a year. That makes it a smart investment to get into the market now.
According to the real estate site CoreLogic, nearly half of the nation’s top 50 markets are overvalued today. Home prices are at least 10 percent higher than what is sustainable in the long-term.
Cities like Las Vegas, Denver and Washington D.C. made that list, but Orlando and Tampa did not.
Just as strong job growth is bringing more and more people to Florida, so are affordable home prices. And that’s true even as Zillow has noted that Tampa experienced one of the fastest year-over-year home value growth in the nation. Houses here appreciated by more than 10 percent, making Tampa one of the top 10 fastest appreciating markets.
Richest Neighborhoods in Tampa
Zillow is projecting that homes in Central Florida will continue to appreciate by 4.5 percent through August 2018. CoreLogic is predicting that strong buyer demand combined with tight inventory will keep prices rising for the rest of the year.
So the bottom line is this is a great time to buy a home. Prices are only headed in one direction, and that’s up and up.
At the same time, anyone who buys a home now will see their value rise by next summer. That helps them earn equity rapidly.
At Domain Homes, we continue to build affordable new homes in some of Tampa Bay’s more desirable neighborhoods, including St. Petersburg and South Tampa. Our move-in ready homes are ideally close to top rated schools, the downtown nightlife, cultural centers, and the beaches.
Call Domain Homes today at 813-580-8111 to learn more about how we can help you find your dream home in the Tampa Bay area.