Homebuyers are flocking to Florida cities hit by Hurricane Ian

Less than a month later Hurricane Ian The widespread devastation in Southwest Florida has investors and other buyers looking for home deals in a region where home prices have soared in recent years.

Naples, Fla. And according to residential real estate agents in other areas, demand from locals and out-of-state residents is strong. Category 4 storm. They say they’ve received several inquiries from people who are still interested in relocating to the Sunshine State.

“It’s very much business as usual,” said Kelly Baldwin, an agent at Coldwell Banker in Longboat Key, Fla.

Rick Lema of Rhode Island hopes owners of damaged properties in Florida will get a chance to unload their properties.


Kristen Conti / Magical Moments Photography

The costs associated with fortifying a home against wind and flooding, rising homeowner premiums and flood insurance are enough to cause some. Longtime Florida residents should evacuate.

But few investors with plenty of cash are showing interest. Frilly Saucier, a global real estate consultant at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, plans to team up with a wealthy individual to spend $50 million on distressed real estate. If damaged areas.

“He called me after the storm,” she said. “I’ve been calling agents and other people for a week trying to find properties that are off the market because these houses are still drying out and being fixed up, so they’re not listed yet.”

Rick Lema has his primary residence in Narragansett, RI, and a home in a mobile home park in Englewood, Fla., between Sarasota and Fla. Fort Myers, which was damaged by the storm. The money buyer began scouring local neighborhoods the day after the storm to look for damaged waterfront homes and commercial properties before repairing his own home.

Mr. Lema had previously been looking for investments but felt “the prices were ridiculous”. Now, he hopes owners of blighted properties will jump at the chance to unload their properties. “If they had asked for $1 million before the storm, I would have offered $750,000,” he said.

Of course, some potential buyers are thinking twice after damage from the storm, which is expected to cost Florida residential and commercial properties between $40 billion and $64 billion in flood and wind losses, according to estimates by data firm CoreLogic. What’s more, 62% of US residents planning to buy or sell a home in the next year are hesitant to move to an area with climate risk, according to a recent report from brokerage Redfin.

Gregg Langenbahn and Connie Langenbahn of Cincinnati plan to relocate to Southwest Florida.


Connie Langenbaum

Some who planned to settle in the area are now reconsidering. Kurt Kummerle, 60, a carpenter living in Marmora, NJ, owns land in Port Charlotte, about 30 miles northwest of Port Meyers. She said she always thought she would build a house there to retire with her significant other, Robin Konczak. But now he plans to sell the land.

“We realized it was too dangerous to live permanently in Southwest Florida,” Ms. Kansak said.

Many others are hesitant. Connie Langenbaum, 62, a retired school-bus driver, and her husband, Greg Langenbaum, 61, moved out of their home in Cincinnati in November to become permanent residents of Southwest Florida. The couple said they live with their daughter in Sarasota, Fla., when they were house shopping, a process that began two years ago.

“The hurricane scared my husband, but living in Florida was my absolute dream and I didn’t give up,” Ms. Langenbaum said.

Both hope to spend no more than $450,000 on a three-bedroom, two-bath home. “I believe prices will not go up now because people need houses,” he said.

Some housing analysts think they will, at least in the short term. Ken H., home economist at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business. “We will see prices increase almost immediately, driven by continued strong demand and storm-induced inventory shortages,” Johnson said.

During a visit to Fort Myers Beach in early October, President Biden praised the ‘grit’ of Floridians after Hurricane Ian. He met with Governor Ron DeSantis to survey the storm damage. Photo: Ivan Wuci/Associated Press

“While pricing may be erratic for the first few months, demand for coastal living with warm weather and a business-friendly economy has led to a rapid economic recovery after the recent past hurricane strikes,” said Dr. Johnson.

Prices have already risen to this level in some parts of the US. According to the Naples Area Board of Real Estate, the median sales price for a single-family home rose 24.9% from August 2021 to August 2022 to $725,000, the most recent month for which figures are available. Condominium prices have increased by 34% during the same period.

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What will it take for Florida’s housing market to recover after Ian? Join the conversation below.

Florida International University’s Dr. A study released Oct. 11 by Johnson and Eli Beracha, Ph.D., found the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area was the nation’s most populated home market with buyers in August ahead of Hurricane Ian. Pays an average of 70% above the area’s long-term pricing trend.

“Because of the disaster, there won’t be a lot of homes for sale for a while,” said Kristen Conti, broker-owner of Peacock Premier Properties in Englewood, Fla. End-users and investors, he said, will drive up house prices for 12 to 18 months.

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