📈 St. Pete's AI innovation, Tampa tourism booms & home sale profit trends
⚙️ St. Pete's Innovation District Lights Up with AI and Ocean Robotics
Driving the news: The St. Pete Innovation District showcased groundbreaking advancements in AI, ocean robotics, and medical technology at the 6th Annual State of Science event.
Held at USF St. Petersburg, the event featured speakers from diverse fields, highlighting the intersection of technology and community.
Details: Speakers included Dr. Hank Hine of The Dali Museum, who introduced an AI-powered exhibit transforming dreams into digital art, and Nicky Bruger from Digital Twin Marine, who presented a virtual maritime solution reducing shipping downtimes.
Dr. Mohamed Rehman from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital discussed using AI to predict medical futures, while Dr. Julie Pfaff introduced a novel sleep apnea treatment.
Dr. Nicole Raineault from the Florida Institute of Oceanography and Dr. Shelly Wagers from USF St. Petersburg also shared their innovative work in ocean research and combating human trafficking, respectively.
Why it matters: These innovations are not just advancing their respective fields but are also fostering a unique ecosystem within St. Pete.
From art to oceanography, the district is becoming a hub for cutting-edge technology and collaborative solutions.
The big picture: St. Pete's Innovation District is a testament to how localized efforts can have global impacts. By bringing together experts from various disciplines, the district is driving forward in areas like healthcare, environmental science, and digital technology.
By the numbers: With over 50 member organizations, the district is a melting pot of ideas and innovations. The annual State of Science event is a highlight, showcasing six major initiatives each year.
Between the lines: The collaboration between seemingly unrelated fields, such as maritime shipping and children's medicine, underscores the versatility and potential of digital twin technology and AI in solving complex problems.
What’s next: The district aims to continue its trajectory of innovation, with plans to expand its influence and foster more groundbreaking projects.
The bottom line: St. Pete's Innovation District is rapidly becoming a beacon of innovation, demonstrating the power of community, technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration in driving societal progress.
🏖️ Phone Tracking Data Indicates Tampa Tourism Hasn't Slowed
Driving the news: Despite a year of fluctuations, Tampa's tourism scene has shown remarkable resilience and growth, particularly when viewed through a longer lens.
The city's appeal to tourists in 2023, as per phone tracking data by Placer.ai, presents a complex yet promising picture, with significant spikes in visitor foot traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Details: Placer.ai's analysis, leveraging GPS data from smartphones, highlights a nearly 36% increase in visitors traveling over 250 miles to downtown Tampa since 2019.
The most notable surge occurred in April 2023, with an astonishing 80.5% increase in tourism foot traffic. However, the data also reveals a slight decline in visits during May, June, October, and November compared to the previous year.
The increase in family visits to downtown Tampa, from 25.9% in 2019 to 27.1% in 2023, alongside a median visitor household income rise from $85,100 to $91,800, indicates a shift towards a more affluent tourist demographic.
Why it matters: This trend underscores Tampa's evolving status not merely as a retirement destination or a youth-centric city but as a burgeoning hotspot for affluent families.
The uptick in households with children visiting, coupled with the rise in median household income among tourists, paints a picture of a diverse and economically robust visitor base.
The big picture: Tampa's tourism growth contrasts with broader challenges in the U.S. tourism sector, particularly concerning international visits.
Hindered by protracted visa wait times, the U.S. lags in global travel competitiveness, spotlighting the need for enhanced strategic focus and investment in the travel industry.
Between the lines: While Tampa enjoys a surge in domestic tourism, the overarching concern remains the U.S.'s waning position in the international travel market.
This juxtaposition highlights a critical area for policy intervention and strategic enhancement to bolster the U.S. travel industry's global standing.
What’s next: With Tampa's tourism on an upward trajectory, 2024 holds the potential for even greater growth.
The bottom line: Tampa's tourism sector exemplifies resilience and growth amidst broader challenges, with its diverse appeal attracting an increasingly affluent demographic.
However, for sustained growth, a strategic focus on enhancing the U.S.'s global travel competitiveness is imperative.
🏠 Home Selling Profits Top $120,000 in 2023
Driving the news: ATTOM's Year-End 2023 Home Sales Report reveals a significant trend in the real estate market: a decline in home selling profits for the first time in over a decade.
Despite this, profits remained high, with sellers netting over $100,000 in many parts of the U.S.
Details: The report highlights a $121,000 average profit for home sellers, equating to a 56.5% return on investment. However, this represents a slight dip from 2022's figures, where the gross profit stood at $122,600 and the ROI at 59.8%.
This decline is attributed to the smallest annual increase in median national home prices in more than ten years.
By the numbers: The U.S. median home price grew by a modest 2.1% to $335,000 in 2023, marking the slowest pace since 2011.
Yet, in over 75% of the analyzed metros, prices still rose from 2022 to 2023, with some areas like Hilton Head and Naples seeing double-digit increases.
Why it matters: These shifts indicate a cooling in the once red-hot housing market, influenced by fluctuating home prices, the economic climate, and changing buyer dynamics.
Despite the decline, 2023 still marked the second-highest ROI for home sellers on record, underscoring the continued profitability of real estate investment.
The big picture: The southern and western U.S. regions saw the highest seller returns but also experienced the most significant profit margin declines.
Metros like San Jose, Knoxville, and Seattle led with the highest ROIs.
Between the lines: The drop in profit margins was most pronounced in two-thirds of U.S. metros, particularly in the West and South.
This was due to the median sale price increase lagging behind the purchase price growth, highlighting the market's shifting dynamics.
What’s next: With the market adjusting to new economic conditions, experts like ATTOM CEO Rob Barber anticipate modest changes in home prices and seller gains moving forward.
The balance between lower interest rates, tight home supplies, and ongoing affordability challenges will shape the 2024 housing market.
The bottom line: While the housing market may be cooling, it remains a profitable venture for many sellers.
📊 Our Current Local Market Numbers
The Pinellas and Tampa Bay markets are expected to remain strong into 2024:
- Median sales price: Over $400,000 in both Tampa and Pinellas County, with some areas exceeding $500,000.
- Days on market: Homes typically sell within a month, sometimes much faster.
- Competition: Expect multiple offers on desirable properties, and be prepared to act quickly.
I'm happy to help you create a home-buying strategy that will allow you to navigate the current market.
If you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
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