A majority of new construction permits in the region are for high-end housing, accompanied by an increase in average rents.
The growth of Tampa Bay’s luxury housing market is pushing out longtime residents and driving up housing costs, writes Rebecca Liebson in the Tampa Bay Times.
According to an analysis by the Times, “More than half of the 64 large multifamily housing projects that have started or completed construction in the past five years have been advertised as ‘luxury’ or ‘high end.’” In the same period, rent prices rose by 38 percent in Tampa and 36 percent in St. Petersburg.
For developers, “Catering to a wealthier clientele is an easy way to guarantee profits in uncertain economic times,” and some housing advocates say new construction in any price range is better than none at all. “There’s a large body of research that shows building more housing — regardless of the price point — can increase affordability for everyone.”
But this doesn’t always hold true without policy mechanisms to protect the lowest-income residents. “For instance, if a lot of people move from outside the metro area, or if a large number of homes are used as investment properties, it can dampen the positive effects of construction.”
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