What’s included in every real estate update?
Interesting Real Estate Stats
Recommended Articles Of The Month And Why
Real Estate Local News
Interesting Real Estate Stat For This Edition:
Every month we’ll pull an interesting stat for you directly from our MLS for Pinellas County.
Mortgage Rates Lowest Since September 2017
30 year mortgage rates have continued to drop which is great news for new home buyers as well as those of you that are looking to refinance your current home. According to this article, “Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.82% from 3.99% last week. By contrast, a year ago the benchmark rate stood at 4.54%. The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans declined this week to 3.28% from 3.46%.”
If you’ve been on the fence about getting pre-approved for a mortgage, now is definitely a good time to lock a low rate in. When you’re getting ready to purchase a home, it’s smart to shop around different lenders and see who can give you the best rates. I can recommend a couple of great local lenders however I encourage you to do your own research and shop around other mortgage lenders as well. Even a 1% change in interest rates can save you an incredible amount of money over the life of a loan. A lower rate also means a lower monthly payment.
Buyer & Seller Market Conditions
Throughout 2019 we have continued to see the Buyer & Seller market equalize. Home buyers in Pinellas County are more comfortable now knowing that we are past the height of the market. According to the National RE/MAX blog “Stronger buyer interest coupled with realistic price expectations by sellers advanced the market’s move toward more balanced conditions.”
Pinellas County is a great place to put down roots, even temporarily. Land is limited, the demand to live here is increasing rapidly and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Owning the right property here can be the right decision for a few reasons.
- We’re still about 10k below the nation’s average cost of living for housing.
- The demand to live here is high and our rental market is strong. If you need to relocate there’s a high chance you can rent out your residence and more than cover your monthly payment.
- It is pretty great here.
Inventory Is Improving On A National Level But Shrinking On A Local Level
For the 7th consecutive month we have seen a positive flow of inventory enter the market nationally. Buyers now have more options and competition is not quite as fierce. Directly from the RE/MAX website “The number of homes for sale in April 2019 was up 3.3% from March 2019 and up 4.8% from April 2018. This marks the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth in number of homes for sale.”
While that’s great news for buyers nationally, our local statistics show a different story. If you look at the graph below, you’ll notice that our inventory drops off pretty significantly during the summer months. This is typical in Florida since our real estate cycle is somewhat seasonal – Although our market is not as intensely impacted as northern markets with ice and snow, people are still more likely to put their home up for sale in the winter time when it’s not quite as hot out.
Inventory vs Days On Market
If you take a look at this graph below you’ll notice that we’ve had a gradual increase in the Average Days To Sell in Pinellas County. Earlier this year we were seeing homes stay on the market much longer than we had seen in 2018. This appears to be leveling out and decreasing again as more buyers are motivated with low interest rates.
Personally I’m seeing homes that are priced correctly under the 250k mark still fly off the market within the first week. Homes in the 300k-800k range tend to sit a little bit longer however there is still a healthy buyer demand in this higher price range. We get inquiries on our website from people that reside in higher cost of living states and 300k-800k for a nice home looks very appealing compared to what they’re used to.
Downtown St. Pete Update
Downtown is at a major transitioning point. Where else do you see thousands of apartments, condos and hotel rooms being constructed within a 2-mile radius? Not to mention the amount of retail space that these new construction buildings will bring. Downtown has changed dramatically since I moved here just over 6 years ago however it’s looking like we’re going to see a much more substantial changes over the next 6 years.
It’s an exciting time to live here however change sometimes comes at a cost. Some local shops are getting priced out of prime commercial real estate areas, especially Central Avenue. Some people consider this to be a sad side effect of the development in our city. Hopefully our city leadership continues to limit the amount of chain bars/restaurants in order to maintain the charm that is St. Pete. With that said, St. Pete still has plenty of room for local shops to open up in new districts outside of Downtown.
The new Pier started construction exactly two years ago in June of 2017. They originally estimated completion by the end of 2019 but it looks like it may be a bit longer than that. Here is a video from last month showing the current progress.
Creative Loafing Best Of The Bay
Has our website and newsletter been helpful to you? Perhaps we’ve already met and/or communicated about your real estate goals. We would love your vote to help us get nominated for Creative Loafing’s Best Of The Bay Realtors. Just click this link, find Best Realtor in Tampa Bay and vote for The 727 Team. We were actually shooting for best Realtors In The Universe but we will start here!
2019-2020 is probably going to be the most transformative point in St. Pete history so far. The massive amounts of new construction going on in Downtown is a sign that our formerly small and sleepy city is turning into something else entirely. When I first moved here I saw all the potential for growth on the Central Avenue strip. I had seen other cities where walkability was the main attraction and knew St. Pete had that potential. Now we’re here with all sorts of businesses spanning the two mile strip of Central between Downtown and The Grand Central District. Seeing people out and about enjoying themselves all in one concentrated Downtown area is exciting. Although this coming year may be the most transformative yet, I think we will still be in awe of the changes that happen over the next 5-10 years. Thanks for reading!
Recommended Articles Of The Month:
For this update, we’ll highlight some must-reads we’ve written:
Best St. Pete Neighborhood Guide– The comprehensive neighborhood guide you’ve been waiting for! Ryan put together this amazing guide outlining the most popular neighborhoods in the St. Pete area. This is a work in progress – Feel free to bookmark this and come back as we add more areas and pictures.
Second Saturday Artwalk in St. Pete – If you’re local, be sure to check out the Artwalk that happens on the Second Saturday of every month. I made this video of the Artwalk in May, the next Artwalk is today June 8th from 5-9pm!
Here are some news stories you may enjoy!
New Contemporary Townhomes Planned For Historic Kenwood– More new construction homes being built near The Grand Central District! Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like more information.
Sophia’s Italian Restaurant Now Open In The Grand Central District! – A new project from the owners of Wine Lolita debuted on May 17th.
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