Did home sales in Tampa Bay jump ahead of the Fed’s interest rate hike?

With Florida’s real estate market “definitely tightening,” as one economist put it, home sales in the Tampa Bay area showed decidedly mixed results in November.

In Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, year-over-year sales of single-family homes were essentially flat, although sales of condos and townhomes jumped substantially — 13 percent in Hills­borough and 16.6 percent in Pinellas.

Pasco and Hernando counties notched only modest gains in single-family home sales.

All four counties continued to suffer from a weak supply of available homes.

“Because of the shortage of inventory, if you price (a home) based on the recent market, it’s selling above asking price,” said Irwin Wilensky of St. Petersburg-based SunRaye Realty.

One notable fact about November’s results: For the first time in memory, Pasco had four sales above $1 million, including the second-priciest property in the entire bay area. That reflects the county’s growing appeal to buyers of higher-end properties.

“There’s a real seismic shift in the terms of what we’ll see in the way of Pasco County,” said Scott Miller, an agent with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “Taxes are about half of what they are in Hillsborough, and you’re just 30 minutes from Tampa International (Airport) and a slightly greater distance to the beaches. It’s just impossible to beat.”

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About Author

John William is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami, and has spent his lifetime in sales and marketing. The fourth generation to join his family business, John William manages all luxury residential sales and transactions within the Tampa Bay and South Florida markets. A keen industry insider with a finger on the pulse of the area, He is an expert identifying high-return acquisition and development opportunities for hungry investors both large and small while simultaneously working with homeowners and homebuyers to buy and sell the home of their dreams… often times without the need of the MLS or a For Sale sign. He also oversees all digital and print marketing for the company, and handles all sales training for new and established agents alike. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Brookwood Florida, the oldest charity in Florida, and works to raise millions of dollars annually for local charities and museums.