Tampa Bay real estate market comes to a screeching halt after interest rates rise


Big changes to the federal interest rate rocked Tampa Bayhousing market over the past six months. Over the summer, buyers missed opportunities left and right. Now they have options, but perhaps at a much higher long-term cost.

Real estate agent Amy Heckler said she noticed the market turning her way.

“In January we had buyers offering to pay tens of thousands of dollars above the appraised value, even offering to bring cash to the table, now sellers are offering to pay points to buyers for their mortgage interest rates,” said Amy Heckler, a broker with Heckler Realty Group in St. Pete Beach.

Heckler said it’s like someone pressed real estate.

“So it’s almost gone from one extreme to the other, and we’ve seen quite a shift in the market,” she explained.

The latest numbers from Florida realtors in Pinellas County show a 37.5% drop in closed sales comparing September 2021 to September 2022. Closings fell 42.3% in Hillsborough County during the same period.

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The time a home spends on the market before going under contract has increased from 9 days to 21 days in Pinellas County and from 7 days to 19 days in Hillsborough County, from September 2021 to September 2022.

Mortgage interest rates go up and up and up so dramatically month after month, continuing to go up. to wait a minute, let’s wait and see what’s going to happen here and see if things will calm down,” Heckler said. “None of us have a crystal ball, however, we have and have seen prices drop dramatically.”

And it’s a buyer’s market.

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“I would say if you’re looking to buy, now is a good time, especially if you can pay cash,” Heckler said. “There are also agreements to be made with the sellers regarding these interest rates.”

She added that she has never seen such a rapid change as the current market and she expects the trend to hold and continue to stabilize.

Heckler said buyers now have more room to negotiate and investors are also returning to the scene.

“The investment market here has been very, very strong for investors who want to buy property and fix it and then sell it and buy it, keep it and rent properties out,” she said. “However, that has slowed down during this price spike where I think you’re going to see that come back now as well. So you’re going to see investors come in and buy property because prices are stabilizing now.”

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