The summer is heating up around the Greater Tampa Bay Area, and the state of Florida has become a hotbed of real estate activity. In addition to continued economic growth and a booming construction industry, there have been several news headlines catching our eye in recent months. Here’s a quick run-down of real estate topics and trends that matter to Florida homeowners and summer homebuyers:
- Home Prices: Florida’s home-price gains have been slower than the national average, although Florida home prices did increase nearly 6 percent between April 2017 and April 2018. Analysts suggest that Florida home prices may rise faster in the future if we avoid hurricanes this year.
- Property Taxes: There was a major overhaul in U.S. taxes, which affects nearly every area of personal and business accounting, including real estate. New provisions included a cap on property tax deductions, which predominately impacts high-tax states like New York and California. Florida, which averages more affordable property tax rates, is attracting buyers and investors looking for real estate bargains and lower taxes.
- Housing Trends: Recently, Sarasota’s luxury-housing market jumped to the fastest growing in the nation, which experts are saying is resulting from an increase in Northerners investing in Florida. We’re guessing this might have something to do with the previously mentioned property taxes. Of course, our beautiful climate and wonderful communities also entice transplants and snowbirds to buy homes in Florida.
- Insurance Rates: Both hurricane-related and non-storm related claims have affected the homeowners’ insurance industry during the past year. News recently broke that Citizens was asking state regulators to ponder an 8% increase in insurance rates for homeowners, but the increase decision was put on hold in June. No matter your carrier, insurance news is something homeowners will want to keep an eye on in future months.
- Interest Rates: The Federal Reserve has been gradually raising benchmark rates around a quarter-point each quarter. Many smart homebuyers sought to lock in long-term loans and mortgages prior to the most recent spikes in March and June 2018. Summer homebuyers are now feeling the same time-crunch to lock in rates before next quarter’s forecasted hike.
While the insurance, taxes, and contract interest rates vary for homeowners, it’s always important to watch for market trends and changes. We suggest you seek the help of a mortgage loan officer to help optimize a cost-effective buying process, and we are always happy to help you find financial experts to help guide you through your home purchase. As full-service real estate professionals, we are also here to answer questions regarding housing trends, property taxes, investing, buying, and selling around the Greater Tampa Bay area.
Contact Dick and Karla Nielsen today at 813-294-5786 for more information and real estate tips.