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Friday, Dec 15, 2017
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Rising values revive Hillsborough real estate market

Jackie Youngblood, a Realtor with Keller Williams Tampa Properties, said property values are quickly going up in Hillsborough County, but it’s just beginning to dawn on the post housing crash homeowners. “I think possible sellers are just beginning to see it,” said Youngblood, who tells buyers if they see a home they like to put in an offer before it’s gone. “We are calling homeowners and saying, ‘I have a buyer for the area. Are you looking to sell your home?’” Youngblood has been in real estate since 2004, when inventory was so low some Realtors canvassed areas looking for willing sellers. According to Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez, property values are on the rise in the county after five years of decline.
Homeowners should notice the increase in home values of about 3 percent when they receive their annual Truth in Millage notices in six months, although the maximum increase on the assessed value of their homestead property is capped at 1.7 percent this year by the Florida Department of Revenue. “I think this confirms the economy is indeed rebounding,” Henriquez said. “One of the strongest indicators of the overall health of our economy is the housing market and this is good news for owners who have suffered through a number of years of declining property values.” Property values have been falling for several years. In 2009, values tumbled 13 percent compared to the prior year. Even though the drops have not been as steep since then, values were down 4.27 percent in 2011 compared to 2010 and down 2.19 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Although a 3 percent rebound is welcomed by homeowners, it’s small by housing boom standards. In 2006, property values in the county increased 21.5 percent compared to 2005. Youngblood said she doesn’t think there will be a repeat housing bubble. “I don’t think we will ever see what we saw when the boom was here – when prices were going up so quickly.” But what she is noticing is more young people buying homes. “We are seeing more and more people in their late 20s and early 30s who are looking to purchase,” she said. “I think the job market is stabilizing and prices are creeping up. We are seeing people put their money into real estate.” She said Hillsborough County offers something for every kind of buyer, whether married or single, young or old. “Many people love Carrollwood because it’s convenient to get to downtown and wherever they want to go,” Youngblood said. “Many of the military want South Tampa because it’s close to the base. In New Tampa, you find your mom and dad with two kids and the younger generation moving into that area because it’s the up and coming place.”

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