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In the classic 1967 movie The Graduate, a family friend offers a recent college grad a one-word career tip: Plastics.
If the movie were remade today, a two-word tip might be: Health care. It’s a lucrative field, judging by those who bought luxury homes in the Tampa Bay area in 2015.
Of the 25 most expensive properties sold last year, nine went to physicians and executives who make their living in the nation’s $3 trillion health care industry. They outnumbered buyers from any other field and reflect the bay area’s growing prominence as a health care hub, home to such to such esteemed institutions as Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Other home buyers in 2015 came from a diverse range of backgrounds. They include an Indiana couple who own a large sign business; an entrepreneur who sold his e-commerce company to FedEx; and a director of the sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings.
Unlike 2014, when one bay area manse sold for $6.7 million and two more topped $5.5 million, no homes last year commanded more than $5 million. Nine of the priciest were cash purchases.
“I still think (Tampa Bay) is very under-valued,” said Realtor Dania Perry, who sold a Redington Beach home for $4.425 million. “As downtown St. Pete continues to grow and become more vibrant, you’ll see more folks wanting to be in our area. For a long time it had the reputation as being where folks go to retire, and it’s nothing like that today.”