TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
South Shore News

Luxury home sales spur Tampa-area housing recovery


Published:

Leaving out a plate of chocolate chip cookies for potential buyers may work for the average home seller, but those trying to sell luxury homes take it up a notch with fine wine tastings.

Luxury homebuyers in the Tampa area are still leading the housing recovery, which is good news for people who own half-million dollar or higher-priced homes with electronic window shades, gourmet kitchens and other high-end features.

According to Irene Gray, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in South Tampa, the latest statistics from the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, indicates sales are up about 11 percent in the luxury market compared to last year.

Nationally, a “2014 Luxury Report” by Redfin Research Center, showed home sales for luxury homes are up about 21 percent since January 2014, compared to a decline of 7.6 percent for the average-priced home.

A certified luxury home marketing specialist, Gray said she has been seeing a lot of movement in the real estate market due to the move-up buyer, as well as international buyers and people who are relocating to Hillsborough County.

“Most step-up buyers are moving due to growing families,” she said. “They normally want more square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage. They also want upgrades such as granite counter tops, cabinets, flooring, crown molding.”

To become a member of “The Million Dollar Guild,” she had to document performance of multiple property closings at the million dollar and above price range.

“Our value as being luxury home marketing specialists is that we understand the importance of professional staging, photography, and marketing,” Gray said.

Although a typical homebuyer may be impressed with granite countertops and homes that sit on conservation areas, it takes more to appeal to the luxury buyer.

Gray said she is currently listing an Arthur Rutenberg home in FishHawk that features a climate-controlled wine cellar and heated saltwater pool and spa. The home, with a custom medallion design in the ceramic-tiled entryway, is listed for $519,900.

Pam Parisi, the regional marketing director for Newland Communities, said the developer is very bullish on the luxury home market. Its Tampa-area communities include FishHawk Ranch in Lithia, MiraBay and Waterset in Apollo Beach.

“FishHawk Ranch’s Preserve is definitely a sought-after address,” Parisi said. “Beyond great schools and amenities, the Preserve is gated and surrounded by luscious, environmentally-protected land.”

New home sales representatives and Realtors drew prospective buyers to the Preserve section with a recent fine wine tasting inside one Arthur Rutenberg model.

Parisi said luxury homebuyers have more choices now with the opening of Cardel’s luxury Wilshire model in MiraBay.

“Considering Mirabay’s luxury and waterfront lifestyle, this beautiful home is sure to draw buyers to the Apollo Beach area,” Parisi said.

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments