St. Petersburg Housing Market Update: A Seller’s Paradise

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update: A Seller's Paradise cover picture shows a pool courtyard with beige walls and a cream colored sofa.

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update: A Seller’s Paradise

As a realtor with Avalon Group Realty in the booming St. Petersburg market, I have a front row seat to the rapidly evolving housing landscape. Additionally, my insider perspective allows me to analyze the key data and trends driving this robust seller’s market. In this blog post, I’ll provide an in-depth look at the current conditions, highlight the factors fueling the red-hot demand, and offer insights into what buyers and sellers can expect in the coming months.

The Current State of Play To begin with, the numbers don’t lie – St. Petersburg is undeniably a seller’s market. According to recent data, the median home sale price in May 2024 was $439,974, a staggering 10% increase from the previous year. Moreover, homes are selling faster than ever, with an average of just 50 days on the market, up nearly 57% compared to May 2023.

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update: A Seller’s Paradise:  Broker Perspective

“The St. Petersburg housing market is on fire,” said Aaron Hunt, Broker at Avalon Group Realty. “We’re seeing multiple offers on nearly every listing, and homes are often selling well above asking price. It’s a true seller’s paradise.”

Breakdown by Bedroom Count

Furthermore, when we analyze the data by bedroom count, the trends become even more pronounced. For instance, the median sale price for 4-bedroom homes skyrocketed by an astonishing 20.7%, reaching $760,000 in May 2024. Similarly, 5+ bedroom properties saw a 15.8% increase, with a median price of $1.1 million.

Conversely, more modest 1-bedroom homes remained relatively stable, with no change in median price compared to the previous year. However, this stability is likely due to the strong demand and limited inventory in this segment, as Aaron Hunt explains:

“While 1-bedroom homes haven’t seen the same price appreciation as larger properties, they’re still incredibly competitive. Investors and first-time buyers are snatching up these units as soon as they hit the market, often with cash offers above asking price.”

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update:Comparing St. Petersburg to Nearby Cities

In addition, when we compare St. Petersburg to neighboring cities, the data reinforces its status as a seller’s market. For example, Kenneth City saw a remarkable 43.5% increase in median home prices, while Pinellas Park and Gulfport experienced more modest gains of 2.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Interestingly, South Pasadena bucked the trend, with a 10.9% decrease in median prices.

“St. Petersburg is clearly outpacing many of its neighboring communities in terms of price appreciation and demand,” noted Hunt. “The city’s vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and strong job market are attracting buyers from all over the country, and even the world.”

Inventory and Days on Market

Naturally, the red-hot demand in St. Petersburg has led to a tight inventory situation. As of May 2024, there were only 2,399 homes on the market, a mere 2.3% increase from the previous month. Consequently, homes are selling at a breakneck pace, with 51% of properties moving in under 30 days during May.

“Inventory is incredibly tight right now, and homes are flying off the market faster than we can list them,” said Hunt. “If you’re a buyer, you need to be prepared to act quickly and decisively when the right property becomes available.”

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update:  Factors Driving the Seller’s Market

So, what’s behind this remarkable seller’s market in St. Petersburg? According to Hunt, several key factors are at play:

  1. Strong Job Growth: St. Petersburg’s thriving job market, fueled by industries like healthcare, technology, and finance, is attracting a steady stream of new residents.
  2. Lifestyle Appeal: The city’s renowned beaches, vibrant arts and culture scene, and outdoor recreational opportunities make it an incredibly desirable place to live.
  3. Relative Affordability: Compared to many other major Florida markets, St. Petersburg still offers relative affordability, attracting buyers priced out of cities like Miami and Tampa.
  4. Low Interest Rates: Although rates have risen from their historic lows, they remain relatively affordable, enabling more buyers to enter the market.
  5. Remote Work Boom: The rise of remote work has allowed professionals from across the country to relocate to desirable destinations like St. Petersburg.

Looking Ahead: Opportunities for Buyers and Sellers

As we look to the future, the St. Petersburg housing market shows no signs of slowing down. However, both buyers and sellers can still find opportunities in this competitive landscape.

For buyers, being preapproved for financing, acting quickly on desirable properties, and considering expanding their search radius can increase their chances of success. Additionally, working with an experienced local realtor like myself can provide a significant advantage in navigating this fast-paced market.

On the other hand, for sellers, now is an ideal time to capitalize on the strong demand and high prices. By pricing their homes competitively and working with a skilled marketing team, sellers can maximize their returns and potentially attract multiple offers.

“Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the key to success in this market is preparation and working with a knowledgeable real estate professional,” advised Hunt. “At Avalon Group Realty, our team is dedicated to helping our clients navigate these challenging conditions and achieve their goals.”

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update:  The Role of Investors and Out-of-State Buyers

In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, the influx of real estate investors and out-of-state buyers has played a significant role in shaping the St. Petersburg housing market. Consequently, this dynamic has added another layer of complexity and competitiveness to an already heated seller’s market.

According to data from the St. Petersburg Association of Realtors, nearly 30% of home purchases in the area during the first quarter of 2024 were made by investors or buyers from outside Florida. Meanwhile, this figure represents a substantial increase from just two years ago when out-of-state and investor purchases accounted for only 18% of transactions.

“We’re seeing a massive influx of cash buyers from places like California, New York, and Chicago,” explained Hunt. “For many of these buyers, St. Petersburg’s relative affordability and lifestyle appeal are extremely attractive, especially in the current remote work environment.”

The Impact of Investor Activity

Naturally, the surge in investor activity has had a profound impact on the local market. On one hand, investors often have the ability to make all-cash offers and close quickly, which can be appealing to sellers. However, on the other hand, this dynamic has made it increasingly difficult for traditional buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, to compete.

“It’s become incredibly challenging for many local buyers to go up against deep-pocketed investors and out-of-state buyers with significant financial resources,” said Hunt. “We’re seeing homes routinely sell for well above asking price, often with multiple cash offers on the table.”

St. Petersburg Housing Market Update:  Strategies for First-Time and Local Buyers

So, what can first-time and local buyers do to level the playing field in this highly competitive market? According to Hunt, there are several key strategies to consider:

  1. Get Pre-Approved and Stay Flexible: By obtaining a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender and being flexible on factors like move-in dates and contingencies, local buyers can make their offers more attractive to sellers.
  2. Consider Fixer-Uppers or Off-Market Opportunities: Many investors and out-of-state buyers are primarily interested in turnkey properties, so exploring fixer-uppers or off-market opportunities can provide an edge for local buyers.
  3. Work with an Experienced Local Realtor: An experienced local realtor like myself can provide invaluable insights, access to pocket listings, and negotiation strategies to help level the playing field against investor competition.
  4. Explore First-Time Buyer Programs: Various first-time buyer programs and assistance options, such as down payment assistance or low-interest loan programs, can make homeownership more attainable for local buyers.

“While the competition is fierce, there are still opportunities for local and first-time buyers in the St. Petersburg market,” said Hunt. “It’s all about being prepared, working with the right professionals, and staying persistent in your search.”

Looking Ahead

As the St. Petersburg housing market continues to attract investors, out-of-state buyers, and new residents, the competition is likely to remain intense in the foreseeable future. However, by staying informed, exploring all available options, and working closely with experienced local real estate professionals, both buyers and sellers can navigate this challenging landscape and achieve their goals.

At Avalon Group Realty, our team is committed to providing our clients with the latest market insights, strategic guidance, and unwavering support throughout the entire real estate process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or a seller looking to maximize your returns, we’re here to help you succeed in this dynamic and ever-evolving market.

In conclusion, the St. Petersburg housing market is undoubtedly a seller’s paradise, characterized by soaring prices, lightning-fast sales, and intense competition. However, by staying informed and working with experienced professionals, both buyers and sellers can find opportunities to thrive in this dynamic environment. As a realtor on the front lines, I’m committed to providing my clients with the insights and guidance they need to make informed decisions and achieve their real estate goals.

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About the Author
Rob Johnson
Realtor, St. Petersburg FL