Developer Ben Mallah buys former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard’s Pinellas home for $16.5 million

Real estate investor Ben Mallah bought a gulf-front mansion Thursday for $16.5 million, by far the most ever paid for a residential property in the Tampa Bay area. The seller was former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who built the house four years ago on 200 feet of private beach that he bought for $3.5 million. Mallah, known for his…

Pinellas home prices soared 13 percent in October as bay area market continued to favor sellers

Sorry, homebuyers, Tampa Bay’s real estate market still looks strong for sellers. For the second consecutive month, sales and prices showed healthy year-over-year gains in October, with Pinellas County recording its biggest price jump — 13.3 percent — since January. The October figures, released today by Florida Realtors, indicate that September’s good showing wasn’t a one-time fluke. A big jump…