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Health News Florida

Housing Prices Rise Across the Tampa Bay Area

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WUSF News

After a couple of tough years for the housing market, things are slowly looking up.

The Tampa Bay area has seen home prices increase more than 3.5 percent increase over the past year, according to the S&P/ Case-Shiller home price index.

Compare that to the 1.2 percent annual increase in all 20 metro areas measured by the index.

Tampa Bay Realtor Maria Hoffman says there are a couple of factors that are pushing costs up slowly.

1. Houses are selling fast in the Tampa Bay Area.

"We are down to about 3 and a half months of active inventory here in Tampa. A normal market is considered 6 months of inventory," Hoffman said.

2. Recent large purchases in the area may have given prices a short-term boost.

"We've got several big company hedge funds coming in buying real estate in bulk to own as rental property," Hoffman said.

3. Investors are buying up cheap condos to use as rental properties which is keeping prices down, for now.

She says less-expensive condos, "...have just flown off the shelf. So that price range drags down the average sale price in the market and as those units disappear we also see our average sale price go up"

Hoffman says these are all indicators that the market may be beginning to level off.