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Tampa tops list for 2022's hottest housing market

Zillow attributed Tampa's growth to factors like demand in supply, demographic behavior and job growth.

TAMPA, Fla. — While the housing market overall this year is projected to grow, Tampa ranked first in Zillow's hottest housing market for 2022.

Zillow estimates Tampa's home values will grow by 24.6% this year. Nationally, Zillow forecasts 14.3% growth in national home value. 

Aside from home value growth, Zillow looked at factors including job growth, high-demand and low-supply inventory, and demographic behaviors. For instance, Zillow states more people are looking to retire amid the Great Resignation and more millennials are looking to buy homes.

"When the pandemic began, I think a lot of households that maybe over time would've made that move decided to make that move, especially in 2021," Jay Lybik, CoStar National Director of Multifamily Analytics, said. 

Tampa succeeded Austin, Texas, which ranked 10th in Zillow's list this year. Cities predominantly in the Sun Belt region ranked behind Tampa.

Jacksonville, Raleigh, San Antonio, and Charlotte rounded out the top five in order. Orlando ranked ninth on the list.

"The challenge is trying to keep up with the demand of people moving into Tampa Bay," John Tomlin, CEO of Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services, said. 

Lybik said Tampa Bay is attracting people from elsewhere due to metrics like cost of living, vibrancy of regional economy and the weather. His company has found demand in Tampa Bay had twice the rate of growth in rental apartments in 2021 than pre-pandemic levels. 

The competitive housing market has also caused rent prices to surge partially due to some buyers settling to rent as well, Tomlin said. 

"It's such a vibrant, exciting community to be in," Tomlin said. "We can't build houses fast enough. It was a challenge before the pandemic. What's happened since then is a shortage of supplies and a shortage of workers."

But experts note it's still possible to buy a home that meets your price range and needs.

Tomlin suggests narrowing your search and key factors including features or neighborhood to increase chances, along with working with local real estate agents.

Anthony Newton said he had been looking into buying a home in Tampa Bay for three years and became worried when home values jumped post-pandemic, but Newton said he found success through a local agent with Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services.

"I had nowhere to live. I was staying at my mom's house up in Central Florida and I could not make this commute every single day," Newton said. "I couldn't ask for more."

Sellers will continue to be in a great spot with competitive offers, Tomlin said. He notes it's best to understand inspection timelines and appraisal contingencies when getting ready to sell your home. 

While the market will continue to remain competitive in Tampa Bay and other areas, Lybik said his company is projecting rent growth may moderate more this year, unlike the immediate effects the pandemic caused. 

Zillow economist Nicole Bauchaud also noted housing inventory is projected to go up this year, allowing more options for buyers. 

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