The Tampa Bay Builders Association (TBBA) reports visitor traffic for the 2012 Tampa Bay Parade of Homes shot up an average of 53 percent during the first four days of the two-week event, which runs until April 1.
Based on figures supplied by participating builders, the number of visitors rose significantly from the 2011 parade, indicating increased home buyer interest; interest had decreased dramatically every year following the housing-industry meltdown that started in 2006.
According to Marshall Gray, president of the TBBA—which stages this annual event—a spike in traffic for new homes priced between $500,000 and $900,000 is the most encouraging. That market segment, he says, was hardest hit by the economic downturn. Builders at that price point report an average increase in traffic of about 21 percent from 2011 Parade of Homes figures.
Featuring nearly 90 model homes by 36 home builders in more than 50 Tampa Bay area communities, the 2012 Parade of Homes is located in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
The largest parade in years, this year’s new-home showcase boasts a 26 percent increase in entries from last year, and a 70 percent rise from the market bottom in 2009.
During this year’s parade, home-building companies from across the region will display the latest new-home designs and housing trends. Model homes will be judged by a panel of local realtors as well as local and out-of-market building-industry professionals; they will consider site plan, curb appeal, design, materials, outdoor living spaces, architectural detailing and workmanship.
Model homes will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday throughout the parade.