If you have a plan to hold on to the property 4-5 years or more... great time to buy.
It is definately location, location, location! If you need to commute to downtown Tampa your looking at about 45 minutes from the New Tampa area and could be worse depending on traffic, where Westchase can be 20 minutes. Both New Tampa and Westchase have local retail and ammenities nearby. It will be a matter of preference.
there are other communities in and around Westchase that may interest you. This web page may help!
Let me know if you want more help finding a home, comps etc..
New Tampa is close to USF and the major area hospitals around the University.
Westchase is demonstrably closer to the airport, the Westshore business district and major employers in Pinellas County as well.
Westchase is also built around a much more walkable community concepts which are very popular.
These two items drive demand... therefore higher prices.
Robert's insight is very accurate. We recommend giving it serious consideration befor committing to make a purchase.
As was mentioned, if you are comfortable renting the property after you leave the area, this is an excellent time to purchase Florida property.
In my opinion the values will continue to decrease based on foreclosure situations. This could all change should the government step in and require banks to re-do mortgages on ARM's and for people who are upside down.
If you'd like I can run reports that will give you a sales history over a few year period. It will tell us for sure if Westchse holds it's value better than other areas. This is a complicated rpeort. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.