After a seven year “slump” (some call it a nightmare), home prices are up, buyer confidence has returned, interest rates remain low, and sellers are experiencing high buyer activity, even to the point of bidding wars.

cheeringAccording to Core Logic, Inc., a North American corporation providing financial, property, and consumer information based on its research, home prices increased 12.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in April 2013 compared to April 2012. This change represents the biggest year-over-year increase since February 2006 and the14th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally

What does this mean for sellers and buyers of Tampa FL real estate? 

Sellers:

  • Can take heart n knowing that contract activity has continued to increase for 20 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis.
  • Can take advantage of a diminished inventory of Tampa FL real estate—at least for a while.
  • May not have to offer incentives or lower their asking price significantly.
  • Can wait for a clean contract with terms which are favorable to them.
  • Should take steps to guard against a low appraisal.
  • Should continue to maintain their homes and provide curb appeal.
  • Should remain realistic about the value of their property and keep a level-head in a bidding war.

Buyers:

  • May need to put down a larger down payment to avoid low appraisal problems.
  • Should be flexible about a closing date, even offering free rent-backs to the seller.
  • Should be prepared to pay close to full asking price—or even participate in a bidding war.
  • Need to eliminate a home sale contingency clause in their offer. The fewer terms, the better.
  • May need to make compromises in terms of price, condition of home, location, features, and amenities.
  • Might consider buying the property “as is” and foregoing an inspection, an action not usually recommended.
  • Should be prepared to act quickly and have loan approval and finances in order when they find the “right” piece of Tampa FL real estate.

Not surprisingly, fears of another housing bubble have already surfaced.  Many financial wizards are predicting such a scenario, at least in some parts of the country, stating that the current buying “frenzy” cannot last.  Others counter that emerging worry by pointing out moderate market growth in most of the U.S. and stricter mortgage requirements to support their views.