TAMPA: The Tampa metro area scored the lowest ever on a cost of living index since the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. began tracking it in 2000. The cost of living in Tampa is nearly 12 percent lower than the national average, according to the index.

The region scored an 88.3 out of 100 on this year’s second quarter index. Cost of living is down nearly two points over the first quarter of 2018 and down more than six points over the same quarter last year when the index was 94.7.

“Not only does the Tampa market provide an excellent quality of life, but once again it proves to be one of the most cost-friendly places to live compared to competing markets throughout Florida and across the country,” said Robin DiSalvo, marketing research analyst for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and author of the report. “Tampa had the lowest housing index and utility index among Florida metros, which really sets us apart when attracting top talent and outside companies to the area.”

Raleigh, North Carolina and Jacksonville tied for second for overall lowest cost of living, with 91.7.

The index is based on individual scores on household items and expenses like groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.

The cost of groceries is higher than the national average in the Tampa area. The metro area scored 103 in that area. Housing is Tampa’s lowest cost of those measured at nearly 30 percent lower than the national average.

By Janelle Irwin
– Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal


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TAMPA: According to Florida Realtors, the second-quarter of 2018 saw increased sales, higher median prices and more new listings across a number of Florida's housing markets. Many local markets continued to report a lack of for-sale inventory, which impacts sales and puts pressure on rising median prices. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 80,711 in 2Q 2018, up 1 percent from the 2Q 2017 figure.

"During the second quarter of 2018, Florida's economy and jobs sector continued to grow," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen. "In June, the state's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent while the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.0 percent. On another positive note, Florida's 2Q 2018 homeownership rate was 65.1 percent.

"Despite tight inventory levels, it's encouraging to see that new listings for single-family homes over the quarter rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, while new condo-townhouse listings rose 3.9 percent. If that trend continues, it will hopefully help ease buyer demand and slow the pace of rising prices."

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2018 was $256,150, up 6.7 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $189,900, up 8.5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 34,376 during 2Q 2018, up 4.7 percent compared to 2Q 2017. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales - and rising traditional sales - over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 41.4 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 45.2 percent. Meanwhile, traditional sales for condo-townhouse units rose 6.8 percent and traditional sales for single-family homes increased 4.3 percent year-over-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

"Through the second quarter, low inventory levels kept the number of single-family sales just barely ahead of last year's pace, whereas a greater selection of condos and townhouses on the market allowed for a nearly 5 percent increase in sales versus last year," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "Competition for existing homes remains fierce, with over half of successful single-family home sellers in the second quarter getting above 96 percent of their initial listing prices."

He added that the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) dropped during the three-month-period.

"Half of the single-family homes that sold in the second quarter were only on the market for 35 days or less, compared to 39 days or less in the same quarter last year," O'Connor said. "Among condo and townhouse sales, there was a similar-sized drop in this regard, from 50 to 44 days."

Inventory was at a 3.9-months' supply in the second quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.5-months' supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.54 percent for 2Q 2018, up from the 3.99 percent recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

Residential News » Tampa Edition | By Michael Gerrity | August 14, 2018 8:10 AM ET



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APOLLO BEACH — Every weekend, scores of prospective buyers stream through the dazzling model homes at Waterset, admiring the high-end lighting, the glass-tile backsplashes, the plank-tile floors  

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TAMPA — The 750-foot-long Ireland, one of the biggest cargo vessels ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, arrived Sunday.

The Ireland is on its inaugural voyage, having left a shipyard in China for a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to pick up 64,865 short tons of limestone for delivery to Tampa. Like granite, steel and cement, limestone is in heavy demand right now by the bay area’s booming construction industry.

RELATED: With Steelco arrival, Port Tampa Bay sees new growth in steel business

The Ireland is owned by Vulcan Materials Co., of Birmingham, Ala., the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates like crushed stone and gravel and a tenant of 23 acres at Port Tampa Bay since 1991. Named one of the "Great Ships of 2017" by Maritime Reporting & Engineering News, the Ireland can unload 4,500 metric tons of cargo per hour.

At 909 feet, the container ship Montevideo Express, which called at Tampa in January 2015, was the largest cargo vessel Port Tampa Bay has seen at the dock. Cruise ships, which are bigger, are another matter, port spokeswoman Samara Sodos said Monday.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

By Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer

Published: April 23, 2018
Updated: April 23, 2018 at 12:25 PM

Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times


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TAMPA TIMES: A reigning champion for sand and sunshine, Tampa Bay is once again home to what’s been deemed the best beach in the country. 

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TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL:  Tampa International Airport unveiled its new SkyConnect trains that link the airport's main terminal to the economy parking garage and new consolidated rental car center. 

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BY PAT SETTER  Before you invest in a vintage home, consider the perks of buying new.  Here are 10 reasons to buy a brand new house: 

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We are currently building New Florida Homes in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Safety Harbor, Citrus Park, Ozona, Lutz, Tarpon Springs & Hudson, while developing new communities throughout Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties. Pioneer ensures all of our newly developed communities require no CDD fees.

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Our ability and willingness to personalize, has positioned Pioneer Homes as a leader in quality building throughout Florida's central west coast. 

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