TAMPA, FL. (WFLA) — Low inventory and high prices are causing headaches for Tampa Bay renters looking to buy their first home.
“It’s been very difficult. Every house that we go to look at, there’s cash offers on them. And there’s nothing you can do,” said Karon Stagg, a would-be buyer.
“We are probably gonna wait for another six months and see where the market’s at,” she added.
But six months could be costly. The Federal Reserve just increased interest rates by a quarter percent. That means a mortgage on a $500,000 home with a 10% down-payment would cost an additional $400 per month than it would have in December.
“The market is not slowing down in the Tampa Bay area,” said Mary Beth Byrd, a real estate agent with Smith & Associates. Byrd sold $102 million of inventory in the Tampa Bay market last year.
“It’s hard. It’s frustrating. Because it’s heartbreaking for a lot of our buyers. Especially first-time home buyers. Because the competition is stiff, and you can’t make everybody happy,” Byrd said.
Tampa’s inventory problem is among the worst in the nation, according to Zillow. That site says Tampa’s home value prices rose 31.4% in February, while Zillow reports the inventory of available homes dropped 29.5%.
That means cash is king.
“Sellers are looking from zero risk from buyers, so they want cash buyers, zero inspection, and zero appraisals. It’s difficult. It’s hard for a first time buyer, let alone any buyer,” Byrd added.