TAMPA, Fla. — Conor Boland is shopping for a house during one of the most competitive housing markets the Tampa Bay area has ever seen.
"The experience is very competitive," said Boland. "Since looking for homes we’ve seen a couple of houses go for pending two days after being listed. Where we haven’t had a chance to see it."
Sherry Flathman has been a realtor for 18 years. She said demand for housing is so high that local buyers are competing with cash buyers who are moving to Florida from all over the country, and who are often offering $20,000 to $50,000 over the asking price.
"I have never seen anything like this. A healthy inventory is anywhere from four to six months and what we’re experiencing right now is two to three weeks," said Flathman.
Flathman said new constructions in Manatee County are even using lottery systems because there are so many buyers.
Even with mortgage interest rates climbing, after hitting historical lows in 2019, it's not impacting sales.
"The interest rates are high three's, low four's and I know they’re projected to go up this year, no one knows how many times. But that’s not holding buyers off. Their concern and mission right now are to secure a home for themselves and their family," said Flathman.
And for those who are looking to buy but holding off, for now, financial advisor Terry O'Grady has some advice on what to do with that down payment money.
"Don’t do anything with it. If this is money for your house, don’t do anything with it. Keep it liquid, keep it safe," said O'Grady.
If you plan to buy in the next five years, O'Grady said to keep the money in the bank as opposed to investing it.
"They don’t call it an investment for no reason, it's not a "guarantees"-ment. It could fluctuate if you put it into something to try and make money with the money you need for a home," said O'Grady.
O'Grady said in this market it's smart to have your money readily available for when you find the right home, and not tied up in investments. However, he said if you’re looking for something years down the road, then you may want to talk to a financial advisor about investing.
As for Boland, he remains hopeful in finding the right home, even if he may have to wait for it.
"Patience is going to be the key thing. I’m not convinced we’ll find a place in the next year, to be honest, but it's good to have our eyes open," said Boland.