As the U.S. economy keeps roaring, more and more Americans are starting to take part in voting for their favorite cities – by renting U-Haul trucks and moving there.
And it’s become increasingly clear that Tampa Bay is a top destination in 2018, as the local economy remains healthy, the region’s housing market continues to be among the most affordable in the nation, and the downtown keeps attracting exciting new commercial, education and arts projects.
The most recent evidence of this trend came from the “Pre-Mover Housing Index” released by ATTOM Data Solutions, a national property data warehouse that contains information on 150 million U.S. properties. Their Pre-Mover housing Index is used to predict where people are moving, and is used as a predictor of upcoming home sales.
The study indicates that the Tampa Bay area ranks sixth among the 10 metro areas where prospective home buyers are most likely to relocate to in the next few months.
As the report noted, markets with a high pre-mover index tend to be areas where homes are still reasonably priced and the region has a growing job market — factors that typically allows for greater upward mobility.
And the study clearly indicates that Tampa is being discovered by a lot of people – and will continue to be throughout the summer into the fall.
What Does the Study Tell us About Where People are Moving?
The study indicates that Florida is hot right now – and not just because of the summer weather.
ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier multi-sourced property database, just released its 2018 Pre-Mover Housing Index for the first quarter of this year. The study found that the top three states that the high percentage of homeowners were moving to were Nevada, Delaware, and Florida.
This study isn’t wishful thinking. The data they used was collected from purchase loan applications on residential real estate transactions. An index above 100 mean that state is above the national average, and an above-average ratio of homes there will likely be sold in the next 90 days. In Florida, the Pre-Mover Index was 159.
Florida, of course, has been one of the nation’s top growth states for decades. Admitted as a state on March 3, 1845, it’s hard to believe that records dating back to 1830 indicate that only 34,730 people lived in the Sunshine State – about the same population as the city of Altamonte Springs today.
Florida has maintained one of the nation’s fastest growth rates over the past century, and today has more than 21 million residents, the third largest state in the nation, behind only California and Texas. Projections are that if the current growth patterns stay the same, Florida’s population could surpass 26 million by 2030.
Tampa remains one of the state’s fastest growing cities as well, with a population that exceeds 384,000. At both the state and local level, an exceptionally strong economy is one of the chief driving factors.
In May, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, and in the past year, 124,000 people entered Florida’s labor force. Statewide, Florida businesses created 19,000 new jobs in May – not far below Florida’s entire population back in 1830.
Tourism remains one of the state’s great economic strengths, and Florida is considered the top travel destination in the world, with more than 90 million visitors coming here annually. The state also has more than 1,300 golf courses, more than any other state, and 1,350 miles of coastline, the longest in the continental U.S.
Whether people are moving here for jobs, the state’s appealing lifestyle, to retire or to start a business, Florida clearly has plenty to offer them.
How Is Tampa Ranking Today?
Florida has a strong economy, but so does Tampa. The Tampa area added 31,900 new private-sector jobs in the past year, creating the second-highest number of jobs among all Florida metro areas. Tampa’s unemployment rate was a record low of 3.3 percent, which is lower than the state or national average of 3.8 percent.
Tampa’s economy is increasingly diverse. Tourism is a major industry here, just as it is statewide: the industry with the highest growth over the year in the Tampa area was leisure and hospitality with 8,900 new jobs.
But it’s not the only industry creating jobs. Another sector of the local economy, financial activities, created 8,500 new jobs, and the region is also doing well creating positions in high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations, which posted 14,455 openings in May. Tampa ranked first in the state when it came to new STEM positions.
A healthy economy is one of the top factors cited by ATTOM in its Pre-Mover Index report. The agency analyzed 118 metropolitan areas, and found that Orlando and Tampa were virtually tied for 5th place, with Orlando having an index of 201, and Tampa-St. Petersburg at 200. The two cities are well above the national average, indicating both Central Florida housing markets are poised to experience a high percentage of homeowners moving in.
Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, noted that markets with a high pre-mover index tend to have homes that remain affordable, and a growing job market. That compares to markets with a low pre-mover index, which are more likely to be areas where the job market is weak, or where home prices are simply out of reach for the average wage earner.
That’s not a position Tampa is in, with a median home value of $209,200, according to the real estate website Zillow. Tampa’s home values have risen 14.7 percent over the past year, and the median price of homes that sold is $238,400. That’s far more affordable than in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York City.
Tampa Bay has a winning combination right now of a strong economy, more commercial development in downtown Tampa, and a healthy and vibrant housing market. No wonder the local population keeps expanding and more people keep moving here looking for work, and the opportunity to enjoy all that Tampa Bay has to offer.
Those newcomers will be in need of someplace to live, and it helps that builders like Domain Homes are constructing new houses here.
Domain Homes procures older, dilapidated houses in some of the city’s most appealing neighborhoods, and replaces them with brand new, move-in ready homes.
The neighborhoods that Domain Homes builds in include highly sought-after, established neighborhoods like South Tampa, West Tampa, North Hyde Park, the Heights, and St. Petersburg. These locations are close to the top-rated school districts, the downtown cultural amenities and shopping, and to the jobs centers.
Contact Domain Homes today at 813-580-8111 to learn more about the homes we have available today to match your dream of homeownership in the Tampa Bay area.