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Housing Prices Increased, But Variety and Quality of Life Make Up For It

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Here’s a snippet from today’s St. Petersburg Times:

Between 1998 and 2003, the median home price in the Tampa Bay area rose 55 percent, from $89,300 to $138,100. The steep climb moved Tampa Bay from the 99th most expensive metro area in the nation to 64th, the second biggest leap nationally. Where the Tampa Bay area once was in line with Wichita, Kan., it now is comparable to Houston.

About 60 to 75 percent of the folks relocating from outside the state come from bigger markets such as Los Angeles and New York, according to Frank Ferreri, market vice president for Tampa headhunter Kforce. They are seeking refuge from long commutes and other urban drawbacks. Although transplants from bigger cities sometimes take a pay cut, Ferreri said, other financial factors come into play that make up for it.

“Overall, the housing cost has not been a deterrent in any way for any of the recruits we’ve worked with,” Ferreri said. “They look at the housing cost as a part of the overall cost of living, which is still really good.”

Despite the climb in housing prices, Ferreri said, the bay area has become much easier to market over the three decades he has been in the recruitment field.

“When I was doing this in the late ’80s, we were just trying to sell sunshine,” Ferreri said. “Tampa Bay has become a more mature business climate now, and it’s creating a lot more opportunities that make it more attractive to families.”

Reaction to housing prices in the Tampa Bay area is very dependent on newcomers’ geographic location, said Alma Alexander, president of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors.

“People that come from certain parts of the country, like the upper Northeast, Chicago, Boston, California, they find it incredibly affordable,” said Alexander, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential in Tampa. “When people from states like Alabama, Louisiana or Georgia come here, they are surprised.”

Click here to read the article and see the home price comparison chart that compares Tampa Bay to other metro areas, such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and other areas.

-John Mudd
“Mr. Real Estate”

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  • I totally agree with what you’re saying. I wish more people felt this way and took the time to express themselves. Keep up the great work.

    Josh Rivers

    [Deleted. No need to repeat your url, Josh, your ID link is active. Comments Editor]