You Have Nine Years To Build A House In Tampa

Want to build the home of your dreams and can’t find enough land for it? Try moving to Tampa. The area has 27,923 building lots, enough to keep homebuilders busy for nine years. That’s assuming anyone actually wants to build something, of course.

According to the Tampa Tribune, under normal circumstances, the area should have just a two-year inventory of housing lots, and builders are struggling.

The only builders having success now, said Jack McCabe, a Florida real estate analyst, are ones that bought lots for fire-sale prices during the downturn. Those builders have a competitive advantage, he said.

Even so, there are thousands of foreclosures and short sales on the market for steep discounts, and new homes often can’t compete on price alone, said McCabe, of McCabe Research & Consulting.

“In most Florida markets, at least 40 percent of the properties listed for sale are distressed,” he said. “It’s really difficult for a builder to construct a home and sell for a profit in an environment where distressed homes dominate the market.”

That’s even better news for would-be buyers, though not necessarily for builders. “There’s nothing on the immediate horizon that would make any builder say, ‘Wow, now is the time to start building,” says McCabe.

Tampa has 9-year supply of homesites – Single Family, Lots, Economic Development [Builder Magazine]


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  1. Dunkelzahn says:

    Please don’t. Traffic is terrible as it is, what with the mixture of old people, drunks and young punks.

    I swear, I’ve seen more people airlifted from accidents here within a month of moving down here than I ever did living just outside of Chicago (Oak Park).

    • Mighty914 says:

      I’m sure you saw a few hockey players airlifted out of the United Center if you lived there.

    • trey says:

      dunkelzahn is right. please dont come here. dont even have your vacation here. we have enough people and the traffic is bad as it is.

    • caradrake says:

      Ugh, this. Traffic is horrible. Just yesterday it seemed half of the routes out of Tampa were closed. I-275 was extremely backed up. Our normal 75 minute commute took over two hours – and even the normal commute shouldn’t take longer than an hour.

      Between the tourists not knowing their way around town, the illegal immigrants with no insurance OR license, snowbirds that can’t even see, let alone drive properly, and the just plain bad drivers, Tampa does NOT need to get any bigger.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Yeah. One thing I don’t miss about Tampa is the sound of ambulances and the nasty wrecks.

  2. dolemite says:

    PASS. I bet they all come with busybody HOAs.

  3. swarrior216 says:

    Tampa and Pinellas County are all to crowded. Don’t build anymore.

  4. LACubsFan says:

    OOOO I wanna live in Tampa!

    You have the old ass drivers going 5 MPH on the freeway…. 9 of the worlds deadliest snakes….. Gators… Hurricanes…. that AWESOME humidity…. 8 of the worlds deadliest bugs….some of the trashiest and drunk people in the country…. and 3 inch long fying roaches!

    Sign me up coach!

    • dolemite says:

      You forgot the godawful heat. The last time I was in FL, I thought this must be hell.

      • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

        But all of that bad stuff is offset by the quiet splendor of the manatee.

        • sonneillon says:

          So you can build lots of houses in Tampa. Any place in the country with vacant land you can build on. With the low rate of construction for new houses, if you want to build your own house now is the time.

    • heltoupee says:

      And that coming from a guy that lives in LA, and openly roots for the Cubs. Yikes!

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Yeah, well, I lived there for 11 years. I can equally complain as much about New England and Tennessee.

      Also, I never knew anyone killed by a bug. And I saw one harmless snake the entire time I lived there. And a damaging hurricane never hit Tampa while I lived there.

      And the drunkest people I’ve seen have been in Boston.

  5. LACubsFan says:

    OOOO I wanna live in Tampa!

    You have the old ass drivers going 5 MPH on the freeway…. 9 of the worlds deadliest snakes….. Gators… Hurricanes…. that AWESOME humidity…. 8 of the worlds deadliest bugs….some of the trashiest and drunk people in the country…. and 3 inch long fying roaches!

    Sign me up coach!

  6. Beeker26 says:

    I lived in Tampa for a year. You couldn’t pay me to move back.

  7. madtube says:

    I have a house in Clearwater if anybody wants it.

    • caradrake says:

      We’ll be moving there in a month. As much as I don’t really want to deal with the traffic of Gulf to Bay – I’d much less rather deal with a commute that’s easily 6 hours each day when I have to go from ZHills to Clearwater to Town&Country, then reverse it in the evening.

      Hey, know of any good, local butcher shops?

  8. Gundy says:

    My father lives outside of Tampa and there are whole subdivisions with paved roads, power, water and sewer ran but not one house built in them in the over 6 years since they were planned. The land is in the process of retuning to nature. The housing bubble really hit that area hard.

  9. jessjj347 says:

    In March, there were tons of abandoned housing developing in FL. It was closer to Orlando, though.

    I think that Tampa has been built up a ton in the last 20 years, but the population should be on the decline now I would guess.

  10. phonic says:

    My husband and I are currently building just south of Tampa…our builder Neal Communities are selling homes faster than they can build them. That might just be Tampa, but here in Sarasota-Bradenton that is not the case. Yes, we did get an amazing deal on our home!

  11. scoosdad says:

    My mom lives in the Tampa area during the winter months.

    All I’ve got to say is “There’s nothing on the immediate horizon that would make me say, ‘Wow, now is the time to build a house in Tampa.”

  12. JonBoy470 says:

    But that would involve living in Tampa, which would involve putting up with heat, humidity, rogue Burmese Pythons and rain for half an hour every afternoon at 4. And if you want to catch a baseball game it’ll be in that weird-ass stadium the Rays play in. Though I suppose with the daily rain-fall a covered baseball stadium is a necessary evil.

  13. StoicLion says:

    I grew up in Tampa (live in Atlanta now). Given the opportunity and a better paycheck, I’d move back there in a heartbeat. Yes, traffic has gotten worse in the past 20-years but amenities have greatly improved. Sports teams aren’t as much the butt of jokes as they used to be and it’s easy to fly nearly anywhere with TIA. Complain about the heat but winters are very mild compared to other parts of the country. Plus, no state tax.