Tampa is not one of the Florida markets on most investors’ radar screens, but the market’s economic resilience and improved market fundamentals could change that.
Meanwhile, occupancy in Tampa was up 50 bps, finishing 2020 at 95.7%. The Tampa market has mostly maintained an average occupancy rate between roughly 95% and 96% since 2015 and during the worst of the pandemic, the market’s lowest reading was 94.8% in mid-2020.
Two submarkets that bear watching are Largo/Seminole and North Pinellas County. These two western submarkets that straddle Clearwater have had minimal new construction in the past five years and finished 2020 with effective asking rent growth of 7% and 9%, respectively. Additionally, while both had sub-95% occupancy rates four years ago, they are now approaching the 97% mark.
Three other outer suburban submarkets – Brandon/Southeast Hillsborough County, New Tampa/East Pasco County, and West Pasco County/Hernando County – had 2020 rent growth of about 6% or greater.
Tampa may not be one of the “sexy six” or gateway markets favored by investors, but solid market fundamentals and a strong economy place Tampa among the new and improved markets to watch in the near term