Strong Growth Continues in Tampa Bay
HUD’s Comprehensive Housing Market Analyses provide information on changes in local economies, housing markets, and populations and provide 3-year forecasts for demand in the area. This article is part of a series that sheds light on the content of these analyses.
The Tampa Housing Market Area (Tampa HMA) encompasses the greater Tampa Bay region on Florida’s Gulf coast and includes Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. With an estimated population of roughly 3 million, Tampa Bay is a center for the financial services industry and a destination for many retirees and tourists. A recent Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis highlighted the economic and housing market activity in the Tampa Bay area.
- Steady Job Growth Led by Professional and Business Services
The Tampa HMA’s economy has been growing every year since 2011; in 2015, job growth in the HMA exceeded the prerecession high. Employment in the HMA has increased by an annual average of 2.7 percent, or 30,700 jobs, since 2011. All sectors added jobs during the period except for the information sector, which saw jobs decline by an average of 0.5 percent annually.
The largest sector in the area is the professional and business services sector, which has led job growth since 2014 and accounted for nearly 40 percent of job growth in the area since the recession. The sector added another 5,800 jobs over the past year and should continue growing steadily over the forecasted period. Other sectors demonstrating strong growth include mining, logging, and construction; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and financial activities.
Business Expansions Will Spur Economic Growth
Over the next 3 years, employment growth is forecasted at an average annual rate of 1.6 percent, driven by expansions in the business services, tourism, and healthcare industries.
Recent expansions in business services include Amgen, Inc., which recently opened an office in Tampa that is expected to add up to 450 jobs in information systems and human resources, and USAA, which expects to add up to 1,200 jobs in financial services during the next 3 years.
Expansions in the leisure and hospitality sector have also contributed to strong employment growth following the recession. Employment in the sector grew by an annual average of 4,600 jobs, or 3.5 percent. Tampa Bay attracts many tourists because of its beaches; professional sports teams, including a Major League Baseball baseball spring training league; theme parks; and museums.
The education and health services sector has expanded every year since 2000, growing more than any other sector in the HMA. The area attracts many retirees, with nearly 20 percent of the population in the 65-and-older cohort, and the large senior population contributes to the sector’s growth.
The Tampa HMA is home to the University of South Florida, which has 48,500 students and 15,000 employees. The university is expanding with the construction of the Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute. The expansion is part of the $3 billion Water Street Development in downtown Tampa and is expected to open during the next 3 years.
Housing Demand Highest in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties
Demand for housing is highest in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, home of the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg, respectively. Employment and population growth coupled with limited developable land have fueled demand in Tampa Bay and increased home sales prices in those counties. Since 2011, new home sales in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have increased by an average of 10 percent annually.
Housing demand should remain strong over the next 3 years, and most demand will be for housing in the Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Demand is expected for 39,700 housing units and 20,045 market-rate rental units. For more detailed information, see the recent Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis on the area.