Saturday, June 11, 2016

Another Urban Myth Busted

Tampa, Fl
Posted by: Sharon Calvert


Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

We've grown weary of the incessant cheerleading around downtown development for both Tampa and St. Petersburg. We're glad they are developing and improving, but its not the only story in town. All that's hot in the real estate market is not downtown.
Forget Davis Islands, South Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg — Tampa Bay's hottest ZIP codes are two you might not expect.

While wealthier parts of the bay area have seen greater price appreciation since 2004, the areas most sought after by home buyers today are Largo/Seminole (ZIP 33778) and Tampa's Carrollwood-Northdale (ZIP 33624), realtor.com says.
It should not be any surprise as to why.
The main reason for those ZIPs' popularity is simple — both have stable neighborhoods with the kind of roomy yet moderately priced homes that are in increasingly tight supply these days.

In ZIP 33624, "Northdale is affordable square footage for the money,'' says Joe Lewkowicz, a veteran Coldwell Banker agent. "Plus, they've got the YMCA, which a lot of people use, the golf course, a great school right there (Gaither High), and it's close in to downtown.''
Disclosure: Joe Lewkowicz is a neighbor.

Amenities. Good value. Space. Privacy. Yard. Good schools...

Northdale Park
In short, the American Dream does not start and end in a boxed up in an apartment, even if downtown transmogrifies into a Disney-esque entertainment district for the ADHD afflicted in crowd.

Perhaps the high rents downtown contribute. A friend recently moved downtown into a one bedroom apartment for $1700 per month.  He likes it downtown, so great for him. That kind of rent is typical of downtown these days.

Latest downtown Tampa apartment rents on Zlillow.com as of June 9
Compare that to Northdale.
Lewkowicz is negotiating an offer on a 2,400-square-foot home with a new kitchen and golf-course view, listed at $325,000. "In a lot of other areas you cannot get that for that kind of money,'' he says.
A quick mortgage calculation assuming $325,000 purchase price, 30 years, 20% down, 3.75% interest rate terms for that Northdale house can be bought for $1204.10 per month (principal and interest only).

You can decide which is the best for you and your family. Many are choosing Northdale and other affordable areas.

Despite all the news from downtown and other urban developments, people continue to move into the suburbs at a higher rate than the urban districts, as Jed Kolko, formerly Chief Economist for Trulia wrote in March this year.
Today the Census Bureau released its 2015 population estimates for counties and metropolitan areas. After volatile swings in growth patterns during last decade’s housing bubble and bust, long-term trends are reasserting themselves. Population is growing faster in the South and West than in the Northeast and Midwest, and faster in suburban areas than in urban counties; both of these trends accelerated in 2015. 
Again, this is not news for those who follow the issue and seek the facts, or even observe the greater residential development in Hillsborough County suburbs compared to city of Tampa.

As Kolko's further analysis shows this is not an anomaly. He expects this pattern of faster growth in the suburbs to continue.
But it’s not just that population growth patterns today more like they did during early years of the bubble. Rather, local population growth trends increasingly look like they did before the bubble, in the 1980s and 1990s.
There is much more to read from Kolko, so read the whole thing.

While we're piecing urban myths, the luxury urban housing bubble is not looking too good.
One major meme for the luxury developers had to do with well-off retirees—the one domestic population with the money to afford such housing. Newspapers have been crammed with anecdotal stories about this “trend.” Yet analysis of Census trends among seniors shows that the senior percentage share in both the inner core and older suburbs dropped between 2000 and 2010 while growing substantially in the newer suburbs and exurbs. The most recent data show these patterns continue.
Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox further explain much of the run up has been due to foreign buyers and investors, and that well is drying up. It's not a full on crash, but there are higher vacancy rates in many markets. This may not be good news for more downtown residential development.

Especially for the urbanistas.

But they can get a better value for the money in the 'burbs.
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