To be precise, Tampa Bay does not refer to any particular municipality. In fact, it is a large, natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico located on the West Central coast of Florida. The “Tampa Bay” area that is most often referred to is the group of neighborhoods surrounding Tampa Bay itself. According to the US Census Bureau, this region is the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), comprised of the Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
Together, the three cities, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, including the unincorporated city of Brandon, comprise more than 100,000 residents. These communities are mostly white (76%) and may be considered “young” with as much as 70% of them between 0-54 years of age. It is not surprising that demographics lean this way since Tampa Bay has a high concentration of business and information services companies in the area. Employment in Finance, IT and the Academics industries is very high and drives up the median income for the area.
Another driving force in the economics of the Tampa Bay area is tourism. Tampa Bay is a very famous tourist destination primarily for its beaches, three of which have been awarded “America’s Top Beach” by Dr. Beach. These are North Beach on Fort De Soto, Caladesi Island and Siesta Key on Sarasota. There are plenty of choices for accommodations, water-related activities, shopping and dining in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa Bay is also noted for its cultural attractions. Art museums abound in the area, like the Tampa Museum of Art, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum and a host of others that also show the rich Cuban heritage of the area. One of the events that truly espouse the arts that is a major crowd drawer in the Tampa Bay area is the Gasparilla Arts month that lasts throughout March. This event brings as many as 250,000 visitors to the area.
Based on recent demographics, the area will continue to see an influx of residents who will migrate to the area in the coming years. Either this is due to employment prospects or the desire to own beachfront property, this will drive the real property market to new levels following the real estate crash before. This will be a chance to recoup what was lost and start anew. Beach property market values are still high because of the demand and the rarity of property. Real estate market prices are back on track and there will be many choices for first-time buyers to start fresh. There are still homes that are in the $50,000 - $100,000 range, perfect for a 2-3 Bedroom house for a family starting out.