Florida Housing Market Defies Odds After Devastating Hurricane

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Home in Fort Myers, Florida, damaged by Hurricane Ian.
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Last fall, Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida’s western coast, leaving a wide path of destruction. Many experts questioned how long it would take the local housing market to bounce back.

The answer? Not long at all.

For-sale home listings have jumped in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area after falling sharply in the storm’s aftermath, according to Redfin. Now, sales also are starting to recover.

In the first two months after the storm struck in September, listings were down by 900 units compared to where they would have been had the storm never made its unwelcome arrival, according to Redfin.

Flash forward six months, and things were very different. Listings surged to 1,314 units above projections during that period. In addition, sales — which lagged in the first three months after the storm — picked up significantly, though they have yet to fully recover.

The Redfin findings are based on a combination of an analysis of MLS data and projections based on listings and sales performance in comparable Florida metro areas that Hurricane Ian did not impact.

In a summary of the findings, Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari says that when it comes to Florida real estate, “many homebuyers continue to prioritize waterfront views, relatively affordable home prices and lower taxes above climate concerns.”

Still, Bokhari cautions that “as homebuyers have moved into Florida, insurers have moved out.” He is referring to insurance companies that have begun to pull out of the state rather than face the prospect of growing losses tied to more frequent storms.

In the Redfin summary, Bokhari notes that homebuyers in Florida may be left with fewer and more expensive insurance coverage options:

“Ultimately, lower-income residents may be pushed out of the riskiest areas due to rising insurance and rebuilding costs. Those who can afford to remain will likely see their home values appreciate at a slower clip as the dangers of climate change become impossible to ignore.”

Are you looking for a home of your own? Stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center and search for a great mortgage rate.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.