Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Supply of Tampa Bay area homes for sale shrinks to 5-year low

By the numbers

8,316 Homes and condos listed for sale in Pinellas County (BeachWay condos are located in Pinellas).

37% Decrease from a year ago in those moderately priced homes.

The amount of Tampa Bay area real estate for sale has fallen to levels not seen for almost six years.

Pinellas County listings for homes and condos fell last month to 8,316, a level last seen in December 2005.

Real estate experts say a healthy inventory supply is six months, meaning it would take about six months to sell all the inventory that is currently on the market. The lower the supply, the stronger the market.

Pinellas' supply peaked at 18 months in March 2007. Today, Pinellas' supply is 7.1 months.

John Tucillo, chief economist at Florida Realtors, said the inventory of less expensive homes has shrunk, but the market is still saturated with higher-priced homes. "You're almost getting a bifurcated market," he said. "We're seeing shortages in some price ranges."

Moderately priced homes are disappearing from the market.

Listings decreased 37 percent in the $140,000 to $159,000 price range in Tampa Bay. The figure fell from 2,587 in September 2010 to 1,638 last month, according to data from local Realtor organizations.

Florida, among the hardest-hit when the housing market imploded, appears to be stabilizing, according to a report from the real-estate website Realtor.com.

Edited from article appearing in www.tampabay.com.