With Nearly Half of Tampa’s Homes Underwater Hurricane Earl Disappoints
Nearly half of all
homes in Tampa are already underwater. The dire situation affects all
neighborhoods regardless of status and wealth. Historical treasures have
been lost such as the Centro Espanol de West Tampa and Mass Brothers
construction developments throughout the upscale Channnelside
entertainment district such as the Place, Kennedy and Towers of
Channelside are among the victims.
Golf Courses and
other tourism draws are in disarray. The tourist season is at risk if
remedies are not made quickly.
Silver conveyed via phone that had the hurricane not turned as it had
his way of life would have been preserved. “It is an act of God the
hurricane goes where it goes, but for everyone in Tampa I weep for the
result. We can not afford to stay here but we can not afford to leave.
We need help, someone has to send us help, where is the government? The
City and County are unable to deal with this, they are just as
devastated. We can only pray for help”.
Home values in Tampa
averaged $118,700 well below the national average of $182,500. That is a
loss of 45% from the peak of pricing. While nationally 21% of homes have
negative equity in Tampa it is nearly half of all homes.
With an estimated 13
month of excess inventory available the market continues to push more
homes underwater. “There is no sign of reaching the bottom in home
values yet” wrote analyst Fredrick Mauser of the South Tampa Realty
Sales of previously
home sales nationally dropped to a 15 year low in July indicating
further troubles ahead reported the National Association of Realtors.
Locally home sales
fell a whopping 30.4% between June and July, down almost 20% from year
ago levels according to McKay Chiefs, a Westshore consulting agency that
tracks local home closings.
Consequently the sea
of foreclosures is also expected to rise and engulf Florida homes at a
greater rate then the record pace already being experienced. Half of the
home sales in July and three-fourths of current pending sales are
“If only Hurricane
Earl had taken a course into Tampa Bay we could have escaped our
mortgage, we could have moved to a town with employment opportunities.
But now, with the hurricane moving north we have no such hope.” Sobbed
homeowner Mrs. Springfield. “Each week at church we pray for a large
hurricane, and we will keep praying for salvation.”
government has provided a silver lining of hope in these dismal times,
its experts expect more hurricanes to develop before the season’s end.
Mrs. Springfield is
determined to believe that one of them will demolish her home in Tampa,
allowing her to escape the negative equity trapping her here.