New builders, fierce property competition moving into South Tampa

Empty lots, older homes up for grabs

TAMPA - "It's been pretty explosive over probably the last 6 to 8 months," said South Tampa resident James Brisson.

The landscape of South Tampa is changing and the changes are happening fast.

"You can find a couple ranch homes and then two of three tear downs," said Brisson. "They're just building them as quickly as possible."

There's a land grab happening south of Kennedy and Gandy Boulevards where empty lots and older homes like James Brisson's are sparking fierce competition.

"Usually about once a week or if I'm out working and I come back home and there's real estate business cards at my front door saying I'm ready, I'll write a cash offer to you right now," he said.

Builders and realtors are cold-calling homeowners at a furious pace, bidding on property and putting in new construction.

"We get calls every day from builders coming in wanting to knock down houses. They're being very aggressive. They're asking us to go out and actually knock on doors, call homeowners," said Keller Williams Realtor Sean Ready.

He says many of those builders are new to South Tampa gravitating to the area because homes are holding value. 

"You're seeing a lot of, you know, of the bigger name builders who build in the master plan communities kind've sneak into south Tampa a little bit. Once you don't have the profit margin in you know more rural areas, coming in because there's typically a 5 or 10-percent bump in margins here," explained Ready.

But the new construction has a downside, pricing some out.

"We get a lot of first time buyers in here now who say they want a south Tampa single family home and it's like, you kind've pump the brakes for a second because you know it's going to be difficult to find and you know they're going to have a lot of competition," said Ready.

"It's become overwhelming lately because they see the type of home I live in could be a potential tear down and they can throw a 600-thousand dollar home on it," said Brisson.

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