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With Nearly Half of Tampa’s Homes Underwater Hurricane Earl Disappoints

Nearly half of all homes in Tampa are already underwater. The dire situation affects all neighborhoods regardless of status and wealth. Historical treasures have been lost such as the Centro Espanol de West Tampa and Mass Brothers Buildings.

New high-end construction developments throughout the upscale Channnelside entertainment district such as the Place, Kennedy and Towers of Channelside are among the victims.

Golf Courses and other tourism draws are in disarray. The tourist season is at risk if remedies are not made quickly.

Homeowner William Silver conveyed via phone that had the hurricane not turned as it had his way of life would have been preserved. “It is an act of God the hurricane goes where it goes, but for everyone in Tampa I weep for the result. We can not afford to stay here but we can not afford to leave. We need help, someone has to send us help, where is the government? The City and County are unable to deal with this, they are just as devastated. We can only pray for help”.

Home values in Tampa averaged $118,700 well below the national average of $182,500. That is a loss of 45% from the peak of pricing. While nationally 21% of homes have negative equity in Tampa it is nearly half of all homes.

With an estimated 13 month of excess inventory available the market continues to push more homes underwater. “There is no sign of reaching the bottom in home values yet” wrote analyst Fredrick Mauser of the South Tampa Realty Trust.

Sales of previously home sales nationally dropped to a 15 year low in July indicating further troubles ahead reported the National Association of Realtors.

Locally home sales fell a whopping 30.4% between June and July, down almost 20% from year ago levels according to McKay Chiefs, a Westshore consulting agency that tracks local home closings.

Consequently the sea of foreclosures is also expected to rise and engulf Florida homes at a greater rate then the record pace already being experienced. Half of the home sales in July and three-fourths of current pending sales are distressed sales.

“If only Hurricane Earl had taken a course into Tampa Bay we could have escaped our mortgage, we could have moved to a town with employment opportunities. But now, with the hurricane moving north we have no such hope.” Sobbed homeowner Mrs. Springfield. “Each week at church we pray for a large hurricane, and we will keep praying for salvation.”

The federal government has provided a silver lining of hope in these dismal times, its experts expect more hurricanes to develop before the season’s end.

Mrs. Springfield is determined to believe that one of them will demolish her home in Tampa, allowing her to escape the negative equity trapping her here.