Do you think that Tampa is one of the best places to live? Well it has been named as one of the best places to live in the U.S.
Big cities all love to sing a similar tune: If you move here, you’re going to be amazed at all the great things we have to offer.
If you’re new to the city and not sure what’s available, city leaders are usually all too willing to help educate you. They’re quick to point to the cultural attractions, entertainment, local services, area schools, and so on.
But what most people really want these days is a triple hit: a strong jobs market, a housing market where homes are still affordable, and plenty of cultural attractions to offer local residents and visitors. That’s considered a home run these days, already making it one of the best places to live in Tampa Bay.
And that combination is key to why the city of Tampa is one of the best places to live according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Places to Live in the United States. In ranking the nation’s 125 largest metropolitan areas, the magazine noted that when people are considering relocating, three of the top factors they consider are affordability, the availability of jobs and quality of life.
With U.S. News’ data showing people are moving to the South, Western states and the Midwest, it’s no surprise they added Tampa to the list, with the city coming in at No. 75.
As the magazine noted, “Living in the Tampa Bay area is like being on vacation all year.” The Tampa quality of life is tough to beat.
But while easy access to the beach and the exciting nightlife in downtown Tampa are great contributors, another key factor is that the city still has an affordable housing market, with prices well below the levels seen in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.
Along with a healthy and vibrant job market, that gives newcomers a good reason to consider relocating to Tampa.
Why is Tampa is one of the best places to live?
Overall, Florida cities did well on the list, with 10 making the cut. Tampa ranked higher than Orlando (No. 78), Port St. Lucie (No. 79, Daytona Beach (No. 94) and Miami (No. 110).
Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News, said in a news release that “U.S. News created the Best Places to Live to highlight areas across the country that have the characteristics residents are looking for, including steady job growth and affordability. The top-ranked places are areas where citizens can feel the most fulfilled socially, physically and financially.”
In trying to determine what makes a city desirable, U.S. News looked at how cities rank in terms of the local job market, affordability and the quality of life.
Why is Tampa is one of the best places to live? The Tampa Bay area scored well for offering plenty to life, including:
- A relaxed beach lifestyle;
- Plenty of cultural amenities;
- Professional sports teams;
- Museums and art galleries;
- A diverse mix of entertainment and dining options to choose from.
It helps that Tampa Bay is made up of three cities – Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater – that are separate and distinct, with each one appealing in its own way.
The magazine cited Tampa’s “hip social scene” and St. Petersburg for its beaches and water sports activities like parasailing and dolphin-watching cruises as being top draws. Getting around Tampa Bay is not only interesting but a lot of fun.
And in addition to being ranked among the Best Place to Live in the country, Tampa was also ranked the best place to live in Tampa Bay and the Best Place to Retire across the US; coming in at No. 29.
Interestingly, WalletHub, the personal finance research company, made a similar recommendation, and ranked Orlando and Tampa as the top two cities in the U.S. for retirees.
WalletHub measured the affordability, quality of life, level of healthcare access and availability of activities for retirees within the nation’s 150 largest cities, and found Orlando and Tampa came out on tops. Their researchers factored in access to recreation centers, public golf courses, museums, theaters, music venues and other cultural and entertainment venues as being top factors.
WalletHub also noted that for retirees on fixed incomes, Tampa and St. Petersburg were among the least expensive cities when it comes to the local cost of living, tax-friendliness toward retirees and the availability and cost of in-home care services.
How is the Tampa economy performing?
Tampa’s economy has been exceptionally strong in recent years, and in March the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.7 percent, below the national average of 3.9 percent.
The city created thousands of jobs in 2017, while also benefiting from the presence of large employers like Publix Super Markets, MacDill Air Force Base, BayCare Health System and the South University-Tampa, among the area’s largest employers.
And not surprisingly, the Tampa Bay area also has a thriving tourism and hospitality industry, which has helped bring the unemployment rates down steadily in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; which is why Tampa is one of the best places to live.
Tampa also has some exciting projects on the horizon.
The city’s current waterfront district is undergoing a major change as one of the largest downtown real estate developments in the country, Water Street Tampa, gets underway. The 55-acre multi-use redevelopment project is expected to include more than nine million square feet of commercial, residential, hospitality, educational, entertainment, cultural and retail space.
In April, the project also broke ground on a $200 million, 26-story, 519-room JW Marriott hotel expected to open in 2020 and located adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center and Amalie Arena.
These are major projects in downtown Tampa, expected to help foster additional economic development opportunities throughout the region, creating even more jobs and opportunities for workers.
Another major project in the city was last September’s groundbreaking $153 million South University Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, slated to be finished in late 2019. It’s expected to bring up to 1,800 students, faculty and staff to the downtown waterfront. The facility is expected to include classrooms, clinic areas, an auditorium and laboratories.
These significant urban redevelopment projects are also helping the region’s housing market. The steady job growth is attracting newcomers while the Tampa Bay area’s excellent quality of life is enticing retirees. And they’re moving to Tampa and they all need homes.
As the real estate website Zillow notes, Tampa home values have risen by 15.3 percent over the past year, and the median home value is now $208,132, still an affordable price for many buyers.
Zillow predicts the city’s home values will rise another 7.9 percent in the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Tampa is $292,054, while the median price of homes that sold is $230,700.
U.S. News & World Report recognized that Tampa has it all: jobs, affordable homes for sale, and a first-rate quality of life. The city made the magazine’s list of the Best Places to Live for a good reason.
Why is Tampa the Best Place to Live?
A strong economy creating new jobs, exciting new commercial development projects in downtown Tampa, great cultural amenities, and a healthy and thriving housing market his why Tampa is one of the best places to live in the U.S.
It’s no surprise that Tampa’s population is rising, as more and more young families keep moving here looking for work, while a growing number of retirees also are relocating to Tampa Bay for the opportunity to enjoy all that the region has to offer.
They arrive needing someplace to live, which is why builders like Domain Homes are constructing new houses here, anticipating the strong demand.
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; after all Tampa is one of the best places to live. These locations are close to the top-rated school districts, the downtown cultural amenities and shopping, and to the job centers.