Why Tampa, Florida Is 2022’s Hottest Housing Market

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If you’re gearing up to shop for a home in the Tampa, Florida region and hoping to nab a deal in 2022, please have a seat because we’ve got bad news for you: Prices are likely going to soar. According to new predictions from Zillow, Tampa came in No. 1 as the hottest housing market of 2022. Other cities in the Sun Belt region seeing a boom of interest from buyers include Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; and San Antonio. 

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“These findings were not particularly surprising,” Nicole Bachaud, economist at Zillow, told GOBankingRates. “For the last couple of years we have seen the Sun Belt surge in popularity, and the findings are on par with trends we have talked about in previous years.” 

In the 2021 hottest markets report from Zillow, Austin, Texas was forecast to be the leading destination for home buyers, thanks largely to the city’s reputation as both bustling and affordable — at least compared to major coastal metropolises — but the Sun Belt region was highlighted as a rising star.

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Homebuyers Seek Good Weather, Good Prices and Good Career Opportunities

“The Sun Belt has been surging for the last couple of years,” Bachaud said. “Home shoppers increasingly want warmer climates, relative affordability and fast-growing economies.”  

Home shoppers also want to reside in an area that has strong forecasted home-value growth, high job growth and resistance to economic impacts from outside financial market fluctuations. These are all boxes that Tampa checks off, according to Bachaud. It also is — or, more accurately perhaps, was — less expensive than 2021’s top cities such as Austin and Phoenix.  

While Tampa and other Sun Belt destinations are booming, with the surge expected to continue throughout the year, other famously red-hot markets like New York City and San Francisco are anticipated to cool down.

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NYC and San Francisco Are Cooling Down — But That Doesn’t Mean Much

“The coolest markets of the year are expected to be New York, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Chicago and San Jose,” Bachaud said. “New York — among the others on this list — is considered cool due to relatively fewer new jobs and less favorable demographic trends than other large markets.”

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But a cooled-down market doesn’t mean a cold or barren one — and surely not in thriving megacities like New York and San Francisco. They may be seeing less excitement, but Zillow anticipates these and other not-so-scorching locations will still come out on top. 

“All these markets are still expected to fare just fine on their own next year,” Bachaud said.  

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Inventory Is Low, But Supply Is Returning  

In general, housing markets across the U.S can expect to revel in high demand, similar to that seen in 2021. 

“Sellers nationwide should expect to remain in the driver’s seat in 2022, as low inventory last year will lead to pent up demand from buyers,” Bachaud said.  

But low-inventory challenges should begin to ease. 

“We are expecting to see increases in inventory over the next couple of months into the spring home selling season to give buyers more options,” Bachaud said. “Also, it’s expected that homes will stay on the market for longer to give buyers more time to weigh all their options.”

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The Housing Market Will Be Crazy in 2022 — But Not Quite as Crazy as It Was in 2021

Prospective buyers should buckle up for another wild year of high prices in the housing market across the U.S., but things probably won’t be quite as out of control as they were in 2021.   

“We are expecting the housing market to remain hot and fast-moving, but a bit more muted compared to 2021,” Bachaud said. “Fast moving sales, elevated levels of demand and rapidly rising home prices will all contribute to hot housing markets across the country.”

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COVID-19 Will Continue To Influence Home Shopping Decisions

Helping to fuel the furious demand for housing is the radical transformation that pandemic life has forced upon consumers. With the deadly surge of the omnicron variant, it’s becoming clear that COVID may be with us for years to come. And so Americans will continue to search for the home that will best keep them safe and accommodate their augmented needs, including working from home.  

“Over the last couple years, COVID made homeowners and renters alike re-evaluate where they were living and seek a home that better fit their needs,” Bachaud said. “Due to remote work, people could move just about anywhere, and warmer climates to enjoy the outdoors year-round and relative affordability play a key role in housing decisions.”

Amid the Great Resignation, home shoppers are also keen on locations that tout local job growth. 

“Six of the 10 markets on Zillow’s list have added more jobs than new homes over the past two years, intensifying the competition expected in these markets,” Bachaud said. 

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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