Metrostudy’s survey of the Tampa housing market shows that new home activity slowed in 1Q14, reflecting mixed economic news and a continuation of 2013 trends.  In Tampa, 1,175 single-family units were started in the first quarter of 2014, a decrease of 21.8% compared to last year’s rate of 1,502 units. Despite this drop in 1Q14 activity, the annual starts rate, compared to last year, increased by 10.4%, to 6,204 annual starts.

“The 'pause' that began last Fall had a significant impact on homebuilding activity in the first quarter,” says Tony Polito, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Tampa Market. “A review of deed records thru February indicates that the “pause” had more effect on volume than pricing. The price increases pushed thru in early 2013 have held and now builders must face the question of volume versus price.”

For the twelve months ending March 2014, annual new home starts in price ranges under $200k totaled 1,613 units. This was down 29.7% from the 1Q 2013 annual activity in prices less than $200k. New home starts in prices over $200k were up 38.1% for 2014 versus 2013. The marginal 583 unit increase in the annual start pace was split: 683 less units under $200k and 1,266 more units above $200k, 217.2% of the marginal growth.

Total single-family inventory, which is composed of units under construction, finished vacant and models equaled 3,384 units on the ground at the end of the first-quarter of 2014; an 6.3-month supply. Inventories fell by 5.4% compared to first-quarter of 2013.

Compared to last year, the number of units under construction fell by 141 homes to 1,568 homes. Finished vacant inventory decreased by 3.8% from 1,596 units last year to 1,535 this year. However, the number of completions exceeded move-ins during the quarter and FV inventory increased by 65 units versus 4Q13. The FV months of supply held level with 4Q 2013 at 2.1 months.

Hillsborough County remained the most active county within the Tampa market. Hillsborough County increased market share, up from 58.5% for 4Q13 to 63.8% for 1Q14, despite quarterly starts falling from 836 in 4Q13 to 750 in 1Q14. Market share in Pasco fell from 29.5% for 4Q13 to 24.4% for 1Q14 as quarterly starts decreased from 419 4Q13 to 287 for 1Q14. The VDL supply throughout all of Hillsborough County stood at 23.4 months. The VDL supply in Pasco stood at 44.8 months as of March 31, 2014. These two major counties accounted for 89.9% of all annual start activity in Tampa Bay as of 1Q 2014.

“The major factors going forward will continue to be consumer confidence and general continued improvement in the national economy and the job market,” says Polito. “With an upward trending unemployment rate from December; job creation, interest rates and wage gains will be important in determining future housing demand in the Tampa market.”

For information contact: Tony Polito at 813.888.5151


About Metrostudy

Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.  Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Tampa, FL, Houston, TX.