NewsAffordable Housing Crisis


First-time home buyers looking at prices above $200,000, report finds

Home prices rise
Posted at 11:24 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 07:20:19-04

First time home buyers are looking at prices well above $200,000 if they want to live in Tampa Bay.

According to a recent report from Zillow, the median home value in Tampa is $213,800. That’s an increase of nearly six percent in home value prices year over year.

This also comes as the inventory has gone up nearly five percent year over year, according to Zillow.

Stephen Lytle is a resident in the increasingly more popular South Seminole Heights neighborhood.

“I’ve lived in the neighborhood for six years and I’ve seen substantial changes on every street in South Seminole Heights,” Lytle said.

Neighborhoods like Seminole Heights, located within 15-20 minutes of Downtown Tampa, are becoming in demand as people want to reduce long commute times and have access to walkable attractions like restaurants, bars and parks.

However, the demand is driving home prices up. Investors are going door to door, slipping in flyers and notes offering cash for homes. This can tend to push older residents in the neighborhood out as gentrification continues in places like Ybor City, Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights and Riverside Park.

Lytle, who has a leadership role with the South Seminole Heights Neighborhood Watch, said it’s critical to make sure historic neighborhood’s original residents have a say and are well represented in neighborhood meetings.

He said joining community organizations is critical to helping neighborhoods join new residents with original residents, and encourages everyone to reach out by attending meetings, emailing, calling or posting on social media to stay connected.

“We want to try and make sure that people have their voice heard and that we can act as an advocate for all of our neighbors to city hall," he said.