The Tampa Real Estate Market: Stats and Trends for 2021

More than 90% of the economists and real estate experts surveyed by the Tampa Bay Times last year expected the Tampa real estate market to meet or exceed the performance of the national housing market this year. 

While 2020 was a good year for real estate in Tampa, 2021 is predicted to be even better. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the housing market in Tampa metro is expected to remain hot heading into 2021.

There’s steady job growth being created by higher-paying professional and business services. In turn, these business expansions are spurring economic growth in Tampa. The result is that there’s a rapidly rising demand for housing in Tampa and Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located.

Plus, Tampa is simply a great place to live and do business. Located in western Florida along Tampa Bay and near the Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay Area is generating jobs and population growth that leaves most other cities in the country green with envy. 

The economy is founded on a diverse economic base including finance, technology, tourism, and construction, and the Port of Tampa is the largest in Florida. The rental market is strong, and numerous publications rank Tampa as one of the best places to be in the U.S.

Keep reading to learn why you should consider the Tampa real estate market in 2021.

>>Explore Roofstock's Tampa Investment Properties here.


Population Growth

The population of Tampa (including Hillsborough County) has seen a net population gain of nearly 151,000 new residents over the last ten years, based on statistics from the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council. The most recent population growth report shows that more people are coming to the Tampa Bay metro area than Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Palm Beach.

Key Population Stats:

  • Tampa is the 3rd-largest city in Florida, after Miami and Jacksonville, and the 48th most populous city in the U.S.
  • Tampa MSA consists of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
  • Nearly 400,000 people live in the City of Tampa and there are more than 3.1 million residents in the Tampa Bay / Hillsborough County metropolitan area.
  • Population growth in Tampa was 1.7% last year and is projected to grow 3.3% annually over the next few years.
  • More than 126,000 new residents are forecast to move to the metropolitan area by 2024.
  • Population growth in the Tampa MSA is expected to be 25% over the next 20 years, with more than 3.8 million people living in the metropolitan area by 2040.



Job Market

The Tampa area led the entire state of Florida in the creation of new jobs last year, adding more than 30,400 private-sector jobs including 8,000 in construction. As the economy continues to recover, key employment sectors such as manufacturing, government, and financial services are all showing positive job growth. 

Key Employment Stats:

  • GDP of the Tampa MSA is more than $169 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and has grown by nearly 50% over the last 10 years.
  • Employment growth in Tampa was 2.5% over the past 12 months, while the unemployment rate is down to 5.6%.
  • Expansions and recovery in the business services, tourism, and healthcare industries are projected to drive the growth of the job market in Tampa.
  • High-growth industries in the Tampa metro area include financial and professional services, information technology, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, and distribution and logistics.
  • Twenty companies with a combined annual revenue of more than $1 billion have their corporate headquarters in Tampa Bay, including eight Fortune 1000 companies.
  • Largest employers in Tampa Bay include Publix Super Markets Inc., BayCare Health Care Systems, Walmart, Verizon Communications, TECO Energy Inc., MacDill Air Force Base, Times Publishing Co., and OSI Restaurant Partners LLC (casual dining company operator of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Flemings Steakhouse).
  • University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, and Stetson College of Law are some of the biggest institutions of higher education in Tampa.
  • 87.3% of the people in Tampa are high school graduates or higher, while 37.3% hold a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.
  • Interstate highways I-4, I-75, and I-275 pass through Tampa and provide access to 34 million consumers within an 8-hour drive.
  • Port of Tampa Bay is the largest seaport in Florida, providing service to both cargo shippers and cruise lines.
  • Tampa International Airport, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport are all located within the Tampa metropolitan area and provide non-stop service to more than 90 domestic and international destinations.


Real Estate Market

The housing market in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater is forecast to be one of the most active real estate markets in 2021. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, home sales in Tampa are expected to jump by 8.7% while prices should grow 7.5% year-over-year.

Key Market Stats:

  • Typical value of a home in Tampa is $302,156, according to the Zillow Home Value Index (as of May 2021).
  • Home values in Tampa increased by 17% last year.
  • Median listing price of a house in Tampa is $344,900 based on the most recent report from (May 2021).
  • Square foot listing price of a home in Tampa is $186.
  • Median sold price of a home in Tampa is $323,000.
  • Days on market (median) is 47.
  • Sale-to-list price ratio is 100%, meaning most of the homes sell for approximately the asking price.
  • Of the 87 neighborhoods in Tampa, Sunset Park is the most expensive with the median listing price of $2M for a house while Sulpher Springs is the most affordable neighborhood with a median listing price of $172,500.



Attractive Renters’ Market

The hot housing market is leaving some buyers out in the cold, helping to drive the demand for rental property in the Tampa metropolitan area. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, pent-up demand and low inventory is making it difficult for first-time home buyers to compete.

The rental market in Tampa is also attracting the attention of institutional investors. For example, Invitation Homes is estimated to own and rent more than 8,000 single-family houses in the metropolitan area.

Key Market Stats:

  • Average rent in Tampa is $1,451 per month, according to RENTCafé (as of May 2021).
  • Rents in Tampa increased by 7% last year.
  • 44% of the households in Tampa rent rather than own.
  • About 84% of the rental units in Tampa have monthly rents of $1,001 or higher.
  • Most affordable neighborhoods for renters in Tampa are Lowry Park, Sulphur Springs, and Drew Park where rents range between $1,106 and $1,129 per month.
  • Most expensive neighbors for renters include Downtown Tampa, Harbour Island, and Uptown Tampa with rents of $2,140 per month.
  • Three of the most popular neighborhoods for renters in the Tampa metro area are Temple Terrace, Gandy – Sun Bay South, and Courier City – Oscawana.


Historic Price Changes & Housing Affordability

Reviewing the historic price changes and the affordability of housing in a market are two processes real estate investors use to anticipate the future demand for rental property in a specific area.

Every month, Freddie Mac publishes the Freddie Mac House Price Index (FMHPI) report that updates the short- and long-term trends of home prices in all major markets in the U.S.

The most recent FMHPI on the Tampa metro area from Freddie shows that:

  • May 2016 HPI: 176.0
  • May 2021 HPI: 292.5
  • 5-year change in home prices: 66.2%
  • One-year change in home prices: 20.8%
  • Monthly change in home prices: 2.1%

Real estate investors in Tampa also research housing affordability to help forecast the current and future demand for rental real estate. Affordability compares the amount of annual income needed to purchase a median-priced home in Tampa.

Business forecast and personal finance publication Kiplinger publishes a housing affordability report for the top 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. The firm ranks affordability on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing the most affordable markets and 10 the least affordable.

Kiplinger’s analysis of housing affordability in Tampa reports:

  • Since the last real estate cycle market peak in May 2006, home prices in Tampa have declined by 10.7%.
  • Since the last real estate cycle market bottom in March 2012, home prices in Tampa have increased by 94.9%.
  • Tampa has an affordability index of 5 out of 10, meaning that housing affordability in the market is mid-range and helps to explain the percentage of people renting in Tampa.



Quality of Life

About a year ago, asked why everyone seems to be moving to Tampa. Fast forward to today, and the answer remains the same. Job opportunities, near perfect weather, and reinvention of the urban core and waterfront areas as a few of the countless reasons why the quality of life in Tampa is attracting more people, businesses, and rental property investors.

Key Quality of Life Stats:

  • Cost of living index from the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council reports that it is cheaper to live in Tampa than many other large metro areas such as Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix, Orlando, and Nashville.
  • Forbes ranks Tampa as among the best places for business and careers and job growth.
  • Tampa receives high ratings from U.S. News & World Report for overall desirability, value, job market, and quality of life.
  • gives the Tampa metro area an “A” grade for nightlife, diversity, and a good place for families.
  • Water Street Tampa is a $3 billion mixed-use development project that has transformed the Downtown Waterfront into a vibrant place to live, work, and play.
  • The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Museum of Art, and Sparkman Wharf are some of the best entertainment venues in Tampa Bay.
  • Pro sports teams in Tampa include the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, MLB Tampa Bay Rays, and the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning.


Get Out the Map

Where to begin your search? Roofstock created a heat map of Tampa based on our Neighborhood Rating, a dynamic algorithm that enables you to make informed investment decisions by measuring school district quality, home values, employment rates, income levels and other vital investment criteria.


DARK GREEN: 4-5 star neighborhood
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5-4 star neighborhood
YELLOW: 2.5-3 star neighborhood
ORANGE: 2 star neighborhood
RED: 1 star neighborhood


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This article, and the Roofstock Blog in general, is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is not investment, tax, financial planning, legal, or real estate advice. Roofstock is not your advisor or agent. Please consult your own experts for advice in these areas. Although Roofstock provides information it believes to be accurate, Roofstock makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this blog.
Jeff Rohde


Jeff Rohde

Jeff has over 25 years of experience in all segments of the real estate industry including investing, brokerage, residential, commercial, and property management. While his real estate business runs on autopilot, he writes articles to help other investors grow and manage their real estate portfolios.

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