Tampa Bay area homes sales see big drop - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay area homes sales see big drop

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - The Bay area's real estate market has been on a solid road to recovery, with the number of home sales increasing steadily every month.

But that has changed in a big way.

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Tampa Bay home sales for November dropped by 11.6 percent, compared to a year ago. Condo sales fell even further, a decline of 16.2 percent. Compare that to statewide declines of 1 percent and 7 percent.

Kurt Gleeson, of Sotheby's International Realty in Tampa, says the flood insurance rate uncertainty is causing buyers to think twice about where they purchase.

Related content: Business owners worried about flood insurance premiums

"As of Oct. 1, we had the launch of the new flood insurance regulation," "That's certainly causing buyers to be more diligent about the cost of ownership, with respect to the new flood insurance premiums."

The massive hike on flood insurance rates is hitting thousands of homes in flood zones. A federal subsidy, that kept rates affordable, expired Oct. 1. Legislators have proposed a bill to help, but it's unclear what will happen. Realtors also point to the bay area's recent high profile sinkholes and credit tightening.

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