An article published in the Catalyst (12.2.2020) titled, What’s ahead for the Tampa-St. Pete housing market (by Margie Manning), reveals that the volume of home sales in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan market is expected to outpace the national average in 2021.
According to a realtor.com survey, the price gains for local sellers also are projected to be above average next year. The real estate listing website projects an 8.7-percent year-over-year increase in the number of homes sold in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area next year as compared to a 7-percent increase nationwide. The median price of an existing home in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area is expected to increase 7.5-percent in 2021, also above the forecast national average increase of 5.7-percent. The median sales price for a home in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro in October was $285,000.
COVID-19 Work from Home Trend
Work from home is driving both residential and commercial real estate decisions since the flexibility of doing your work from anywhere opens up more affordable options for those working in expensive urban housing markets. A stark decrease in commercial leasing activity, more than a 20-percent drop, also reflects the new normal for millions of Americans working from home.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, both homebuyers and home sellers pulled back as fears about contracting the virus resulted in real estate agents reporting a 78-percent decline in buyer activity in the first week of April, up 45-percent compared to the two weeks prior. Sellers reacted in kind with a decrease in seller activity by 76-percent that same week.
REMAX/Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer notes that due to a shortage of inventory, strong buyer demand and low interest rates, many St. Petersburg homeowners are looking for larger homes that are more suited to their needs as they work from home and travel less.
Estelia also notes that housing activity during the holiday season usually slows down, this year, however, it is still quite active.
One key trend for 2021 will be continued prominence of working from home. The realtor.com report says, “As remote work extends into 2021 and in some cases employers grant employees the flexibility to continue remote work indefinitely, expect home listings to showcase features that support remote work such as home offices, zoom rooms, high-speed internet connections, quiet yards that facilitate outdoor office work, and proximity to coffee shops and other businesses that offer back-up internet and a break from being at home, which can feel monotonous to some, to become more prevalent.”
Mortgage rates have been below 3-percent during 2020, but realtor.com projects those rates will average about 3.2-percent in 2021, and climb to 3.4-percent by the end of next year. For the full report: https://www.realtor.com/research/2021-national-housing-forecast/