I’ve been noticing more and more how we are seeing less and less listings come and stay on the market. As someone who represents mostly buyers, it’s been a bit rough for some of my clients since the market is insanely competitive right now.
Last week I called on a listing my buyer was interested in – I could tell it was a nice house and expected there to be multiple offers but what I didn’t expect is for them to have THIRTY FIVE offers on the table the first day. I’ve known that inventory has started to dwindle but I never saw a visual until I pulled up this graph on MLS today.
That’s right. A year ago we had over 5,000 active listings in Pinellas County and now it’s closer to 1,500. To give some more perspective – We had closer to 8,000 active listings 5 years ago in 2016 and many of those were worth dramatically less than what they are now.
Why is this happening? Is it a product of the market or evidence that St. Pete is becoming a more in demand place to live? I think it’s a little bit of both and if you take into consideration the people that are moving down here because of our lack of Covid lockdown, we get the perfect storm of factors that drive up demand and drain supply of our housing inventory.
Is this good or bad for St. Pete?
Although it’s tough as a homebuyer in St. Pete currently. I believe the city is benefiting from this massive amount of demand. Neighborhoods that were previously considered undesirable are now seeing a dramatic growth in value. Investors are flipping homes and charging what you would see in other more established neighborhoods. Appraisal values are coming up which incentivizes others to continue improving these homes which brings up the value of the neighborhood.
I think as this continues with residential homes we will see more development in these underutilized commercial spaces as well which will allow new districts to pop up. I think overall this is a good thing for St. Pete as a city. We can help you identify neighborhoods in transition if that’s something you’re open to. There are still some opportunities to get an affordable home in South St. Pete.
We are also seeing a solid amount of new construction in the neighborhoods that will allow it. If you’re looking in about the 500k and over price range then this may be a great option for you. There seems to be a lot of higher end new construction inventory coming on the market. Yes new construction is pretty expensive here but you also have to consider the fact that you won’t need to budget for new major items such as roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, appliances or any sorts of renovations. Roll it into a mortgage with a nice low interest rate and you’re good to go for years.
Typically new construction comes with some solid warranties that will give you peace of mind as a homebuyer as well. This month I closed a new construction home in Palmetto Park – it was about a 5 month process total and buyers got to choose their finishings. They had to be patient but ended up with a beautiful new house in an awesome walkable area for 630k. If you’re able to plan at least this far ahead of time you’ll have a bit of an advantage over the people who need the home to be completed right away. Pays to plan ahead sometimes!
Will inventory levels improve?
That is the question. Perhaps as land value continues to go up, these investors who own rental homes will start to liquidate to future homeowners. Maybe as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age they will start selling off their single family homes to move into condos or some other living situation that requires less upkeep than a house. I read a comment online that said maybe inventory levels will improve now that Covid seems to be going downhill, more people may be willing to let strangers into their homes. I personally don’t think that’s the case since at the beginning of the pandemic we still had about 3x as much inventory as we do now.
OK thanks for reading! Here’s to hoping the inventory levels go back up soon. In the meantime if you need an agent that will be super responsive and get you into the property as soon as possible, feel free to reach out to me at 727-307-1111. I’m a single man with cats so I can accomodate pretty much any showing, even last minute. You are welcome to call but my phone flags a lot of phone calls as spam so you may want to text me first or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I mentioned previously in this article the opportunities in South St. Pete. I’ve been keeping it real on the South Side for about 6 years now. Here’s my article I wrote a while back!