GOP convention piques interest in Tampa Bay residential properties

Delegates looking for homes between $1M and $3M, brokers say

Aug.August 31, 2012 09:00 AM

Adapted from the South Florida site: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination last night at a party convention that brought thousands of out-of-towners to the Tampa Bay area. And while in town for the gathering, some convention-goers found time to look at the local real estate, Tampa Bay brokers said.

“We have had some [GOP] buyers in the marketplace,” Charles Richardson, senior regional vice president at Coldwell Banker in Tampa, told The Real Deal. “I don’t know about those that have turned into buyers, but obviously the end result is people are getting to see the Tampa Bay area — and that’s always positive for us.”

The popular range for Republican visitors has been homes between $1 million and $3 million, according to Frank Malowany, broker-associate at Tampa Bay’s Malowany Group. That’s well above the median list price in Tampa, which stood at $175,000 at the end of July, according to Zillow. “I have seen interest,” he said. “People have been calling about homes in the area [in that range], and they’ve had an interest in that particular price range.”

Although Tampa’s market has not been as strong as others, surging residential sectors in Florida, such as Miami, it has shown a 3.2 percent year-over-year increase in home values, Zillow data showed. But like Miami, Tampa’s luxury sector, particularly homes above $1 million, is seeing rapidly declining inventory, Malowany said.

“Over the next few days, if there’s going to be sales activity from those that are here, it would happen over that time,” Richardson said. “It’s a little premature to say that it’s going to translate into sales, but the potential buyers are certainly here.”

Tampa also saw a bounce from people coming in to do property management and rentals ahead of the event, Richardson said.

The wider market even got a visit from New York-based mogul Donald Trump, who came in in early to give a speech to the Republican Party of Sarasota, south of Tampa, at the Ritz-Carlton on Sunday night.

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