With low inventory and a growing number of people looking for places to live, the housing market has become ripe for scammers. Real-estate rental scams have now become a persistent problem in the Tampa Bay area. Data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reports the number of victims and loss amount is on the rise in Hillsborough, Manatee and Pasco counties.
Last year, 304 victims reported losing a total of $6.2 million in six Florida counties: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota and Manatee. Hillsborough County accounts for nearly half of those reports in the Tampa Bay area, with about $3.5 million in losses in 2021. These types of scams typically involve rental properties.
In other news, rents fell 0.1% in August across the country’s biggest metropolitan areas, according to new data published by Apartments.com. The drop snapped a 20-month streak of price hikes and offered the first sign of relief for renters stuck with few alternatives.
However, rents are still up 7.1% from the year-ago period, but that’s an improvement from the 8.4% rate seen at the end of July.
“Rent prices look to accelerate in the near term as rental demand remains exceptionally high from ongoing job additions and higher mortgage rates forcing people out of the home-buying market,” said NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun.
Recently, many homeowners have been questioning if they should sell or rent out their homes.
“You can definitely see a shift in the marketplace to more buyers wanting to rent versus buy and more sellers choosing to rent their homes out versus sell them,” said John Burns’ senior vice president of research, John Burns Devyn Bachman. “That all ties back to the price volatility that we’re seeing in the market right now.”
For those looking to buy, the week of September 25 is predicted to be the best balance of market conditions that favor buyers. Those who purchase a home during this week should expect more homes with price reductions, more inventory, longer days on the market to decide and less competition, according to Realtor.com’s fourth annual Best Time to Buy Report.
In this ever-changing real estate industry, Greater Tampa REALTORS® is here to provide you with invaluable expertise and guidance. Be sure to check out our upcoming classes for professional development opportunities. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Education Department if you need assistance finding the course that is right for you.
Also, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to nominate a fellow GTR member for the 2022 GTR Awards. Each year, GTR honors members who are not only involved at the Association but in the community as well. Please submit your nominations by Friday, September 30.