Tampa Bay real estate is not for the faint of heart. According to the Pinellas Realtor Organization, September residential sales dropped by 18.5% in September when compared to September 2009.  As of September 30, in Pinellas County, there were 6822 single family homes listed for sale in the Suncoast Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Of those listings, for September 2010 there were 567 single family residences that sold.  This is an absorption rate of 8.3%, meaning that for every 100 homes for sale in the Suncoast MLS, fewer than 10 will sell in the next month.

Condos in Pinellas County have a very similar picture, with 5511 condos for sale and 387 sold, for an absorption rate of 7.0%.

In both scenarios, there is more than a one year inventory of housing units for sale, so for a seller, the best way to sell a home is to price it intelligently and be sure it is the nicest on in the price range.  Otherwise the marketplace will pass it by and it will become stale, and unsold.

There is a bright spot in all of this based on the Suncoast MLS, as pending contracts went up by 10.6% over September 2009.  As the prices are still dropping, the number of units being sold should continue to increase so that the unsold inventory is gradually shrinking. 

Even though the Tampa Bay real estate market is currently still soft, from the seller's perspective, there are signs of recovery, with the number of units sold increasing in the last three months.  So, don't be faint of heart.  This is definitely a buyer's market.  Prices are at the lowest point in a decade, and interest rates are at historic lows.