Tampa Bay Times -Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
Looking for a luxury home in Hillsborough County?
Of all the ZIPs in the sprawling county, the South Tampa area that includes Culbreath Isles, Sunset Park and Palma Ceia boasts the most homes for sale priced at $1 million or more — a whopping 51. That’s far more than the closest rival, ZIP code 33609 and Beach Park.
But while Hillsborough is bigger and more populous than Pinellas County, it has a smaller luxury market. Currently, 253 residences are listed at $1 million and up compared to 452 in Pinellas.
Why the big difference?
“I think the key to the number of million-dollar homes being greater in Pinellas than it would be in Hillsborough is the fact that Pinellas is a peninsula and accordingly has more waterfront property in general,” says Jennifer Zales, a Coldwell Banker agent who specializes in high-end Hillsborough homes. “There are a lot of miles of direct gulf-front property on the Pinellas side of the bay, which all bring a premium price.”
Another factor skewing the figures: Because of its more limited waterfront, Hillsborough does not have as many luxury condos as Pinellas. As of Thursday, there were just 18 condos — most of them on Bayshore Boulevard — priced at $1 million or more compared to 103 in Pinellas. Indeed, condos along the beaches and in downtown St. Petersburg make up more than 20 percent of all luxury Pinellas listings. In Hillsborough, condos comprise just 7 percent of luxury listings
Still, Hillsborough offers well-heeled buyers plenty of choices, especially in the 33629 ZIP. It boasts three of the county’s five priciest homes.
For $7.29 million, there’s the Georgian-style mansion overlooking the fifth fairway of the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club.
Also featuring a golf-course view is a newly constructed 8,700-square-foot home with what the listing calls a “contemporary/traditional French-style feel.” It is priced at $7.5 million.
Afraid of being whacked by a golf ball? Then head to Culbreath Isles where a 10,850-square-foot home with views of Old Tampa Bay can be yours for $6.75 million. It has hurricane impact windows and a generator that could power the entire house in event of a major blow.
The costliest Hillsborough home, though, is a few miles farther east, on Bayshore Boulevard in ZIP code 33611. Actually it is two homes — the Stovall-Lee House, built in 1909 for Tampa Tribune founding publisher Wallace Stovall; and a detached, two-story guest house.
On more than two acres overlooking Hillsborough Bay, the gated estate with conservatory, pool and koi pond is priced at $13.9 million. That makes it the second most expensive residential property for sale in the entire Tampa Bay area, exceeded only by a north Pinellas estate listed at $14.9 million.
Other ZIP code areas well known for their luxury listings are 33618, which includes the gated Avila community that remains home to former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli; and 33606, where former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter has a 12,000 square-foot abode on Davis Islands. (It’s not for sale.)
Less obvious as high-end ZIPs are two at opposite ends of the county.
ZIP 33556, which includes the Odessa area, has 27 homes currently priced at $1 million or above — almost as many as waterfront Beach Park and Davis Islands. Many high-end buyers are drawn to the area because of its lakes and larger, wooded lots that provide a feel of Old Florida while still close to Tampa.
To the south, the Apollo Beach area in ZIP 33572 has become increasingly popular with buyers priced out of the Sarasota and Naples markets. There, 17 million-dollar-plus homes are for sale, almost as many as in Avila and along Bayshore Boulevard.
“The south shore areas of Apollo Beach and Ruskin still have a lot of waterfront development potential and are among the fast-growing areas of Hillsborough County,” says Zales, whose listings include a $5.499 million home on Ruskin’s exclusive Dickman Island. “With the addition of these homes and appreciating prices, this will add to the Hillsborough inventory over $1 million very quickly.”
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at email@example.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate