Construction sites along Pasco County’s major corridors are part of everyday landscape.
Bulldozers clear land and work crews move in with hammer and nails.
Pasco is awash in new single-family homes under construction, and to a lesser degree, apartment complexes.
But, market trends show that the supply of new homes is lagging behind demand. That’s a change from the housing bubble that burst in 2008 and sent the economy into a tailspin.
“This time, instead of building too much, we’re building too little,” said Brad O’ Connor, chief economist for Florida REALTORS.
But, there are solid reasons why demand is high.
“Right now, demand is being driven by population growth and economic growth,” O’ Connor said.
O’ Connor was keynote speaker at the Feb. 1 forum, Reshaping the Face of Pasco 2018 Economic Summit. Central Pasco Association of Realtors hosted the event at Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus at Wiregrass.
Other participants were David Gwynn, District 7 secretary at the Florida Department of Transportation; Tom Ryan, economic development manager for the Pasco Economic Development Council; Camille Hernandez, mayor of Dade City; Kathryn Starkey, Pasco County commissioner; Mary Yeargan, director of district management at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and Bob Thompson, program moderator of Thompson Event Partners.
Monthly supplies of single-family homes, as well as condominiums and townhouses, were down statewide in 2017, according to data from Florida Realtors.
Florida had slightly less than four months of inventory for single-family homes, down about 6.2 percent from the previous year. There was a six-month inventory of condos and townhouses, down about 1.5 percent.
Hillsborough County had a 2.6-month inventory of single-family homes, down 10 percent; and a two-month inventory of condos and townhouses, down almost 10 percent.
Pasco County also had a 2.6-month inventory in single-family homes, down 4.2 percent; and the same amount in condos and townhouses, down 19 percent.
In 2017, the biggest inventory of single-family homes in Pasco fell within the $200,000 to $250,000 range, followed by homes from $100,000 to $150,000, and $150,000 to $200,000. Those were increases from 2016.
But, there was a significant decline from 2016 to 2017 in homes selling from $50,000 to $100,000. “There is a scarcity in the low sales rage,” O’ Connor said.
Research found declines also in the monthly averages for the 2017 inventory of active listings of single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses.
Florida’s average monthly listings of single-family homes were nearly 89,000, down 4.6 percent. There were about 54,000 monthly listings on average for condos and townhouses, down about 1.2 percent.
Pasco had about 2,200 listings for single-family homes monthly, down about 2.2 percent. Condos and townhouses had about 420 listings a month, down about 16 percent.
With demand higher than supply, O’ Connor said housing prices are inflated.
However, data shows Pasco is still a bargain for homeowners, even as prices rise, compared to other Tampa Bay counties.
Statewide the median price for a single-family home in 2017 was $237,500, an 8 percent increase. In Hillsborough, the median price was $235,000, an increase of 6.8 percent.
Pasco’s median price was $200,000, an increase of 13 percent.
O’ Connor also noted one other housing trend.
In 2008, homeowners stayed in their homes on average seven years. Now they stay about 11 years.
It’s not clear why, though O’ Connor said people could still be feeling the effects of the economic recession.
For information, visit FloridaRealtors.org.
Published February 14, 2018