The Real Deal Miami

Some worry South Tampa land grab is unsustainable

Buyers are quick to snatch up lots for higher prices than before

August 19, 2013 04:00PM

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Aerial view of South Tampa

South Tampa real estate professionals fear the current land grab is occurring at too frantic a pace, the Tampa Tribune reported.Homebuilders new to the area are bidding up prices for spec home lots, while others tear down structures and rebuild. Sharon McSwain of Tampa Bay-based Domain Homes said her lots have jumped in cost from $57,000 to $88,000 in the past year.

McSwain was drawn to South Tampa for the large profit margins, about 10 percent. In February, she paid $140,000 for an Interbay Boulevard lot containing a two-bedroom home from 1926. She divided it into two lots – each of which will have a $300,000 spec home – and has buyers lined up.

Local developer and realtor John Lum said home and lot prices have increased nearly 30 percent since 2011. Given the high demand from buyers, homeowners can sell a home or lot for $300,000 that may have been expected to fetch a mere $200,000 two years ago, Lum told the Tribune.

At least 175 properties in South Tampa marketed as new construction opportunities were sold between August 13 last year and the same date this year – an increase of 30 properties from last year’s figures, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service. [Tampa Tribune]Mark Maurer

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