Few could have fathomed what the COVID-19 pandemic might do to the real estate market when it hit in spring 2020. Many feared the worst, but the opposite turned out to be true across the country, and Tampa was no exception. From the West and Northeast, new residents flocked to the area, ready to bask in the city’s up-and-coming waterfront district, enjoy rich culture and dining, and cheer on championship-winning sports teams. From Culbreath Isles to Davis Islands, the top five highest home sales represent some of the best Tampa has to offer. The following single-family homes had the top purchase prices between summer 2020 and summer 2021 in Tampa, according to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser.
58 Bahama Circle
This Davis Islands address comes in at the top of the list, selling for $22.5 million. The custom-designed home has some notable names attached to it as well. It belonged to now-retired New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. At one point, it also was rented out by Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen.
“Davis Islands has always been one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Tampa and this home is no exception; not only is it the largest residence in South Tampa, but it is the most expensive home ever sold anywhere in the Tampa Bay region,” says listing agent Stephen Gay with Smith & Associates Real Estate.
The sprawling 22,000-square-foot home, which Jeter took charge in designing, sits on 1.25 acres of walled property. The size of the property alone makes this listing attractive, as that amount of land on the waterfront is nearly unheard-of nowadays.
The home itself offers all of the entertaining amenities one would expect from a grand estate, including a movie theater, outdoor kitchen, gym and fully stocked clubroom. A property of this magnitude wouldn’t be complete without a view, and this one offers 345 feet of bayfront.
114 Martinique Ave.
Also located in sought-after Davis Islands, this six-bedroom home sold for $9.1 million and sits on over half an acre of property.
“This home is a stunning masterpiece,” says co-listing agent Cindy Richards of Smith & Associates. “It’s a luxury estate that offers the ultimate in peace, tranquility and privacy, with the most spectacular open water views.”
The home was recently redesigned in a way that takes advantage of the area’s water vista. A spiral staircase leads to the rooftop, which provides 360-degree scenes of Tampa Bay.
One of the home’s most luxurious features is the owner’s retreat, which has three walk-in closets and a private lanai with waterfront views.
4937 Lyford Cay Road
Overlooking Old Tampa Bay, Culbreath Isles is another desirable neighborhood with a ton of perks. It’s common knowledge that the Tampa Bay area is full of properties, but pristine panoramas of the area’s waterfronts are hard to find.
“There are very few true open bay lots left in Tampa Bay that are nestled within affluent neighborhoods such as Culbreath Isles,” says listing agent Nick Janovsky with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
This home sold for $6.325 million. It sits at the tip of one of many peninsulas in Culbreath Isles, providing 271 feet of unobstructed lookouts to Tampa Bay and downtown St. Petersburg. Floor-to-ceiling windows and stone detail dot every room in this four-bedroom home, and the waterfront scenery was kept in central focus during the design of the property.
5157 W. San Jose St.
In certain Tampa neighborhoods, the land and location are just as valuable as the home that sits on it. Such was the case when buyers scooped up this 7,110-square-foot home in Sunset Park Isles for $5.45 million. But waterfront views were only part of the reason the buyers decided on this property.
“In real estate, we say, ‘location, location, location,’” says Compass listing agent Jeff Shelton, who was with Coldwell Banker Realty when he made the sale. “Buyers are drawn to this area because of its location: 8 minutes to the airport, 15 minutes to downtown Tampa, 20 minutes to downtown St. Pete and 30 minutes to the beaches.”
With such close proximity to the best of what the bay has to offer, it’s no wonder the property was enticing to the buyer. The home itself no longer stands on the property, says Shelton, as the buyers demolished it to build their dream home.
5110 W. Longfellow Ave.
Another Sunset Park Isles home rounds out our list for this year’s top homes, and there’s no question as to why. The home was sold for $5.25 million to a family who already lived in the neighborhood, says listing agent Mary Pond of Smith & Associates. They were just ready to upgrade to the open bay.
“The home was built by Don Hughes Construction, and the floor plan took advantage of the incredible views from almost every room,” Pond says. “The residence offers incredible sunset views, and on a clear day you can see downtown St. Petersburg and the Tropicana Field dome. The location is truly a boater’s paradise!”
The ceilings top 11 feet on the first floor and 10 feet on the second, lending to an open, airy design. Full waterfront views are available from the dining room, and the second floor provides four bedrooms with their own private, attached bathrooms.