Investors buying Tampa Bay homes at record rate, creating steep competition

 Investors buying Tampa Bay homes at record rate, creating steep competition

For Lou Brown, a Realtor with a firm in Midtown St. Petersburg, it used to be unusual to represent a prospective buyer who lost their desired house in a bidding war to an investor.

Now, it’s harder to think of instances where that hasn’t happened.

“It’s very hard for regular home-buyers … to actually compete with the investors that are swinging in with their higher offers,” he said. “That’s just what time it is.”

From July through September, investors bought Tampa Bay homes at a record rate, according to data analyzed by Redfin that begins measuring in 2000. For those three months, one in four houses that sold had an investor as the buyer, for a raw total of nearly 5,000 properties.

Tampa Bay’s share of investor purchases was even higher than the record-breaking national average of 18 percent, ranking it as the seventh-hottest metro area for investors nationwide. No other state besides Florida had more than one city…

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