Economist says millennials will determine future of housing market

The chief economist of Fannie Mae, the national mortgage giant, came to town this week with a mixed bag of news about the housing market. Among the positives: Even if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in September, rates on mortgage loans are likely to remain low for several more months, economist Douglas Duncan said. Home sales are expected to…

House flipping still paying off in Tampa Bay, though inventory shrinking

Last fall, Tampa-based Badger Investments paid $86,100 for a bank-owned house in St. Petersburg that was showing its age. Out went the wall-to-wall carpeting and the window air conditioner. In came granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Badger put the house back on the market and sold it in May for $149,000 — a 73 percent gross profit. But those…

New York style brownstones planned for downtown St. Petersburg

Five high-end, New York-style brownstones are now planned for the downtown St. Petersburg site where a 16-story luxury condo tower once was proposed. Frank Menna, who owns the vacant lot on First Street N and Fourth Avenue, said Wednesday that the new project is a joint venture with hotel and restaurant owner Steve Gianfilippo. “I had the high-rise thing going…