Douglas Elliman has officially opened its first office in “kitschy-esque” Tampa.
Yes, that was Elliman’s Florida CEO Jay Phillip Parker’s description of the brokerage’s latest outpost in the Sunshine State, as stated in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
He said the Tampa office’s opening comes as the brokerage is seeing heightened interest in west coast cities like Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa from within the state.
“It’s generally more of the Midwestern type buyer on the west coast, but we see that shifting. We see more and more people from the east coast looking at the west coast. It’s a more conservative buyer, a more reserved buyer,” he said.
Parker believes lower home prices are a major part of the lure.
“Prices on the west coast are probably at least 30 percent [than on the east coast],” Parker told the Times. Luxury prices in Miami $3,000 per square foot, and on the west coast of Florida, “I don’t think you have anything that comes close to that.”
Since opening in February, he claims Elliman’s office in St. Petersburg has closed $21 million of home sales. The brokerage entered the Tampa-area market by acquiring St. Petersburg brokerage firm Strickland Property Group, increasing its network in Florida to 22 offices (including 21 on the east coast) and more than 1,100 agents.
Parker said he plans to add as many as a dozen agents at the St. Petersburg office, and will probably open its second office on Florida’s west coast in Naples in 2020. He said Elliman has also considered opening an office in Sarasota. [Tampa Bay Times] – Mike Seemuth