In 2017, six things on the upswing sure to elevate Tampa Bay’s economy, quality of life

What’s most striking about Tampa Bay’s momentum lately is the breadth both of economic and quality of life strides under way. Forbes this month published a list of the 25 fastest growing U.S. metro areas that, to use the magazine’s words, “provides a holistic picture of places on the upswing.” Upswing. That’s a pretty good description of Tampa Bay these…

One of Tampa’s original cigar factories could soon be a boutique hotel

They’ve been turned into offices, schools, restaurants and luxury apartments. And now one of Tampa’s original cigar factories could soon be a boutique hotel. The former Balbin Bros. Cigar Factory at 1202 N. Howard Ave. was purchased for $1.4 million this week by a partnership between a Tampa hotelier and a Louisiana-based hospitality company. Though still in the early stages,…

Prices for Tampa Bay homes climbed again in May, but are there signs of a slowdown?

Prices for Tampa Bay homes continued to increase in May, with three of the four bay area counties showing double-digit gains. But for the bay area’s two biggest counties, Pinellas and Hillsborough, the increases are not nearly as dramatic as they were early in the year. “I think it’s kind of stabilized,” Tampa Realtor Rebecca Schmid said of the bay…

Tampa Bay home prices soared 20 percent in January as supply shortage continues

Tampa Bay homes prices soared 20 percent in January, the third-largest gain in all of Florida. The dramatic year-over-year increase, exceeded only by those in the Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie areas, was caused in large part by a continuing shortage of homes for sale, which is driving up prices. There are a lot of buyers out there, but…

What are all the homes in Tampa Bay worth? Believe it or not, less than Apple

In a month when Florida’s population topped 20 million, here’s another impressive number to chew on — Tampa Bay’s total home value is $232 billion. As calculated by Zillow, that ranks the bay area 22nd among all U.S. metro areas. Bigger than Orlando, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas. Bigger than the gross domestic product of several countries (Okay, very small…

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…

Loews Don CeSar named Best Historic Hotel in America

The Loews Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach was recently named the “Best Historic Hotel” in its size category by the Historic Hotels of America organization. The 277-room “Pink Palace,” which has been an icon on St. Pete Beach for decades, was built in 1928. The hotel was recognized for its history and restoration. “It’s been 88 years in…