2017 is turning out to be a great year for potential homebuyers who qualify for a mortgage, and live in the Tampa-St. Petersburg housing market. The market is stable, there are plenty of great options, and current market predictions show that the housing market is going to remain strong moving forward.
Though there are several great housing markets across the United States, some of the strongest are in Florida. In fact, ATTOM Data Solutions listed the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg market in the top 10 for homebuyers in 2017. So, let’s take a closer look at the report.
Pre-Mover Housing Index
ATTOM Data Solutions, known for being the curator of the country’s most extensive multi-sourced property database, recently released its Pre-Mover Housing Index report for Q2 of 2017. This report details the markets with the highest pre-mover indices for the second quarter of the year. The information from this report helps predict what markets would be strong for Q3 in 2017.
ATTOM used data from purchase loan applications on residential real estate transactions. With this data, markets were then ranked with an index. An index over 100 is above the national average, and indicates that an above-average ratio of homes will be sold in the market in the next 30-90 days.
The top 5 markets (Colorado Springs, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; and Lexington, Kentucky) scored over 200. However, the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg market wasn’t far behind with a score of 198.
For perspective, the markets that scored the lowest were all below 50. Of the 122 markets surveyed, the five lowest were San Francisco, California (31); Rochester, New York (32); Honolulu, Hawaii (36); Providence, Rhode Island (44); and Grand Rapids, Michigan (46).
What Makes a Good Housing Market
Based on the data from the ATTOM Data Solutions report, a few trends are emerging in the national market.
“Markets with a healthy mix of access to good jobs and relatively affordable housing attracted the most interest from pre-movers in the second quarter, a harbinger of strong home sales activity in the third quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hottest markets right now are those with plenty of job opportunity. There were 309 counties surveyed in this study, and 189 of them posted an above-average pre-mover index in the second quarter. The common thread in those 189 counties is that all of them feature a low unemployment rate. The average unemployment rate in those 189 counties in June was just 4.2%.
However, jobs aren’t the only thing attracting buyers. In the hottest markets in the country, it appears that people are willing to live farther away from the jobs to find a more affordable home while remaining in an excellent location. This is especially true in markets like Denver, New York, Seattle, and Southern California.
People want affordability. In those 189 counties that scored above the national average, the average percentage of wages needed to buy a median-priced home was 38%, while those that scored below the national average were at 42% of wages necessary to buy a median-priced home.
“We have noticed an increasing phenomenon of the use of reverse mortgages, as well as increasing inventory of single-family home rentals, indicating that more homeowners are holding on to their current homes rather than moving up or downsizing,” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate.
It appears that there is a shift in how people are using their property. Many people are now leveraging their home equity into cash for retirement and purchasing single-family rental homes in parts of the country where property is more affordable, and returns are higher.
Buying Your First Home
For prospective homebuyers who qualify for a mortgage, it’s a great time to purchase a home. The overall market is strong, there are plenty of available homes throughout the country, and the market is poised to remain strong.
If you’re looking to purchase a home, the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg market is a great place to start. With its strong economy, job availability, and unique amenities, the area is one of the best in the country in which to purchase property right now.
Marimark Mortgage is based in Tampa, Florida, and serves the mortgage needs of homebuyers and homeowners in Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
We specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve worked extensively with cash-out refinancing, and help clients with HARP refinancing to lower their monthly mortgage payments.