2013 was an Up Year for New Homes in Tampa Bay

(Tampa, FL – February 17, 2014) The Tampa Bay market experience another positive quarter with job gains and increased housing activity. This is according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

In Tampa, 1,434 single-family units were started in 4Q13. This represents an increase of 6.9% compared to last year’s rate of 1,342 units. The annual starts rate, compared to last year, increased by 27.2%, to 6,513 annual starts. Single-family quarterly closings totaled 1,885 units, which is 44.0% higher than the 1,309 closings during the fourth quarter of last year. The annual closings rate was 6,158 units which was 25.1% above the annual closings rate of 4,921 units for the twelve months ending 4Q12. “Despite the increase in interest rates in May, builders did an outstanding job in delivering and closing units,” said Tony Polito, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Tampa Market.  The Construction Sector added 5,700 jobs in 2013, an impressive 10.6% growth rate.

Total single-family inventory, which is composed of units under construction, finished vacant and models equaled 3,747 units on the ground at the end of 4Q13 a 7.3-month supply. Inventories grew by 10.5% compared to 4Q12.Compared to last year, the number of units under construction rose by 405 homes to 1,998 homes. Finished vacant inventory decreased by 4.3% from 1,546 units last year to 1,480 this year. The number of move-ins exceeded completions during the quarter and finished vacant inventory decreased by 104 units versus 3Q13. This was mostly condo units as non-condo FV units fell by 16 units. Model home inventory was up 16 units from last year at 269 total models. Builders in this market are closing 22.9 homes per year, per model, up from the 19.5 rate achieved last year. By comparison, the market was closing 26 homes per model in 2002 and 43 homes per model in the summer of 2006.

This quarter, 1,644 lots were delivered to the Tampa market. This same quarter a year ago, we delivered 958 lots. Vacant developed lot inventory stands at 28,589 lots, a decrease of 2.3% compared to 29,276 lots last year. Based upon the annual start rate, this level of lot inventory represents a 52.7 month supply, a decrease of 15.9 months compared to last year. “Hillsborough County is on the edge of a lot shortage as the Months of Supply were at 21.1 months in December,” said Tony Polito, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Tampa Market.

“The Tampa Bay market has added 118,800 jobs from this cyclical trough or about 75% of the jobs lost from the peak employment level in late 2006. However, mortgage rates have begun to rise and buyers have lost around 10% of their buying power, when compared to early May. The rise in interest rates coupled with the government shutdown and health care reform did affect Consumer Confidence and 4Q results,” stated Polito.

About Metrostudy

Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services to help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. For more information, visit www.metrostudy.com

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood, LLC is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; marquee trade shows and executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com.