The St Pete housing market is improving, as reported in my last blog post, St. Pete Housing Market Shows an Uptick. What’s driving this? Who’s buying?
There are three main categories of buyers driving the housing recovery: investors, first time home buyers and foreign buyers.
Naturally there are still the ongoing buyers: those moving up, those moving down, those moving to Florida, those retiring, etc.
The investors are no longer the “buy then flip” investors. Most of them are paying cash, and are looking for the investment to produce some income. They’re anticipating a greater return in the housing market than they’ve been receiving in alternative investments.
The appreciation over the next years is an added incentive. Some people are buying an investment property now with the intention of using it as their retirement home later. Others are buying multiple properties for income.
First time homebuyers are often people who have been renting or who have been living at home with family. The rate of first time homebuyers may decrease as the number of people who have been holding off a purchase due to the economy will gradually work through that backlog.
Foreign investors include both first- and second-generation immigrants, as well as those who are not moving to the United States but are diversifying their investments.
For our team, the long domination of west European buyers has reduced, and we’re seeing buyers from many countries, including India, China and the eastern European countries.