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The State of the Market for Buyers in St. Petersburg Florida

Is it still a buyer’s market today in St. Petersburg? As experts in the St. Petersburg real estate market, we are often asked this question.

The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no.

Here are the stats for Single Family Homes in Florida for Feburary as compared to a year ago.

  • Closed Sales: 19,040 That is Up 2.2% from a year ago
  • Median Sales Price is $415,000, which is up 5.1% from a year ago
  • New Listing 32,557, which is UP 28% from a year ago

The State of the Market for Buyers in St. Petersburg Florida

First off, it really depends on the property type and location.

Single-family homes in great locations that are priced well have been flying off the shelves. There’s a lot of demand in the market for certain areas, while others can seem like ghost towns.

Buyers are often looking for the same thing – good neighborhoods, access to transportation, shopping, good schools, close to work, etc. Properties that deliver all these are definitely a hot commodity. Sellers with a highly desirable property are in control of the market.

But for condos and townhouses – especially those a little off the beaten path, or with some funky features – it can be quite a different story. Prices were down in certain areas of St. Petersburg, but seem to be rebounding as the rental market increases.

Investment properties are in demand. The massive amounts of foreign cash flooding in to invest in US real estate have impacted the Suite 1246 market in unique ways.

Overall, those people in a position to pay cash for properties have been picking up the good deals in the marketplace.

Lots of sellers are trying out speculative prices just to see if anyone bites, but most investors are walking away from deals that don’t pencil out.

Financing is still a major obstacle for buyers. Banks are being incredibly strict, requiring lots of money down and even changing their terms at the last minute. It’s not uncommon for approved buyers to get their loans pulled right before closing escrow, although it’s getting better than it was just a couple of years ago.

Overall the markets remain incredibly polarized – there is a lot of action at the very top and the very bottom, with the biggest challenges in the middle.

What does a Florida Economist have to say?

According to Dr. Brad O’Connor, the chief economist at Florida Realtors®, things are looking up. He believes the market will slowly but surely pick up steam this year.

O’Connor has some statistics to back up his claim. In 2023, Florida recorded nearly $200 billion in home sales, which is impressive considering it’s not far off from the crazy sales frenzy of 2022. It’s also much better than what we saw back in 2018, before the pandemic hit.

During a recent real estate conference, O’Connor shared his positive outlook. He pointed out that as interest rates stabilize, people are beginning to accept that the current prices are here to stay. This suggests that the market will experience a boost.

The conference, which took place during the annual Florida Realtors’ Mid-Winter Business Meetings in sunny Orlando, was a hub for real estate discussions. Dr. Sean Snaith, another prominent economist, also attended and shared his thoughts and predictions.

According to O’Connor, mortgage rates have likely reached their peak and may even decrease soon, thanks to actions taken by the Federal Reserve. He believes rates could drop below 6%, which could reignite interest in home buying.

However, it’s not all positive news. High property insurance costs in Florida are causing complications, along with inflation, making it more challenging for people to enter the housing market.

As for those predicting a housing market crash, O’Connor disagrees. Unlike in the past, when adjustable-rate mortgages caused chaos, the situation is different now. We weathered the pandemic without a housing meltdown, and O’Connor believes we’re in the clear for now.

A few of the factors buffering the Florida real estate market from some national economic trends include:

  • The state’s labor market is strong.
  • Florida’s population growth remains strong at about 1,000 new people a day. (Snaith: “An increase in population means an increase in economic activity.”) 
  • The state is still attractive to “untethered” remote workers.
  • Retirees with home equity looking to relocate are unfazed by high-interest rates.

Current economic conditions

The latest survey from Florida Realtors® shows a slight drop in people’s opinions about their personal financial situations compared to a year ago, from 60.6 to 59.8. Similarly, opinions about whether it’s a good time to buy a major household item, like an appliance, decreased from 63.9 to 62.9. These decreases were observed among all Floridians, except for those younger than 60, whose opinions improved in both areas and those with an annual income under $50,000, whose opinions improved in the latter.

Sound confusing? It is. But We Can Help.

There’s a lot of shakeup in the US economy still taking place, and the markets are moving fast in lots of directions at once.

We’re investing in St. Petersburg because we believe in the community and the people here.

If you need to sell a property near St. Petersburg, we can help you.

We buy properties like yours from people who need to sell fast.

Give us a call anytime 727-351-2202 or fill out the form 
over here today if you’re looking to sell a St. Petersburg house fast!

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