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Tampa’s Recent High Population Growth Numbers Fueled by Migration CoStar Market Insights: Declining Natural Population Growth Leave

Throughout the recovery and expansion, Florida markets have consistently ranked among the best in the nation at both total population gains, as well as per capita increases. However, much of the state has low or even negative natural population growth, the net of an area’s births and deaths. Tampa, FL is no exception and has seen a generally declining natural population growth rate over the past decade, including a slightly negative growth rate over the last two years. Since 2013, the population has grown by approximately 264,000 people, with an estimated 99.7 percent of that resulting from net migration. In addition to the warm climate and high quality of living, prospective residents have been increasingly drawn to Tampa due to a robust job market with one of the nation’s highest employment growth rates recently. Over the past three years, Tampa has averaged 3 percent annual job growth — nearly twice the national average during the same timeframe. The area also features relatively affordable housing compared to a typical U.S. metropolitan area, which is likely attractive for domestic in-migration prospects. Although the largest component of the recent in-migration has been households 65 and older, Tampa has also benefitted from high population growth across all segments, including increased levels of younger workers moving to the area. In particular, the 20- to 34-year-old segment, otherwise known as ‘prime renters’ and composed of millennials, has been the second-fastest growing demographic. This segment increased by more than 12 percent since 2011 – roughly twice the national average. Tampa’s commercial real estate market has been thriving recently across all sectors, where demand is greatly impacted by employment growth. With a population growth rate almost entirely composed of migration in recent years, Tampa has elevated exposure to any macroeconomic events that could impact the flow of net migration, whether domestic or international. This is particularly notable when compared to the state’s other large metropolitan areas like Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville, all of which maintain significant positive natural growth rates.

CoStar Market Insights provides a snapshot of recent real estate trends. The CoStar Market Analytics team monitors commercial and multifamily real estate across 390 metro areas, with a granular understanding of the projects, players and economic trends that move these markets.

Brian Alford, Market Economist CoStar Group