No Relief in Sight for Tampa Bay Renters

The region’s rents are rising sharply, while experts expect multi-family construction to slow down.

1 minute read

June 18, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of St. Petersburg, Florida on Gulf of Mexico coast

SeanPavonePhoto / St. Petersburg, Florida

Writing for the Tampa Bay Times, Rebecca Liebson describes the region’s housing crisis, which is hitting renters particularly hard. “Since 2018, rent has spiked 38% in Tampa and 36% in St. Petersburg according to data from the real estate firm CoStar.”

Liebson spoke with Casey Babb, an executive vice president for Colliers in Tampa, who says the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the already high migration rate to Florida. 

“The market was headed on a very dangerous track that was going to eventually come off the rails,” Babb said about the last year. “Property values shot through the roof. Rents obviously shot through the roof as well, which is good for landlords, bad for tenants.” Now, values are cooling as an insurance crisis looms and high interest rates make future development less profitable. According to Babb, “what you’re going to see is basically a wave of supply hitting this year and into 2024. And then that’s gonna be followed by not a whole lot in 2025.”

Babb supports a new state law that bans rent control but allows developer incentives for affordable housing, which Babb believes will “absolutely produce lots and lots and lots of housing” in the state. The new law, SN 102, also includes $711 million for housing programs, but curtails local control of rents, density, and zoning policies.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 in Tampa Bay Times

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