Florida residents see real estate opportunity after Ian


(NewsNation) — Despite homes and neighborhoods in the Southwest Florida region being decimated by Hurricane Ian almost two months ago, the real estate market is proving to be as lucrative as ever.

An October report from Florida Realtors explains such behaviors are commonplace.

“Multiple studies show property values in storm-ravaged regions have historically risen past the national average following a disaster,” the Oct. 10 report stated.

The report goes on to cite a Veros Real Estate Solutions study which reveals property prices topped the national average by seven percent in five metropolitan areas over the 12 months following a hit by a major storm.

NewsNation spoke to a Florida realtor who confirmed that’s what she’s seeing on the ground.

“There are some that have been scared away and equally as many who say this is my time to swoop in and make a deal,” said Kristen Conti, a realtor at Peacock Premier Properties, to NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday.

Conti says Southwest Florida’s pricey real estate market is still just as expensive following the catastrophic hurricane.

“I wish I could say prices were going down — I know that’s what everybody wants to hear — but unfortunately they’re not. We still have tremendous demand. And when you have high demand and low supply, it’s a straight-line economics equation which means prices are going to stay high,” Conti said.

This despite Hurricane Ian likely having caused well over $100 billion in damage.

Some experts say the costly destruction and the potential for another storm is not enough to deter those who want to live mostly year-round sunshine.

“A hurricane or a forest fire is not going to stop the overall progression of where people want to live,” said real estate economist, Ken H. Johnson.

According to Johnson, Cape Coral and Fort Myers — both hit hard by Hurricane Ian — made up the most overpriced housing market in the country.

A report from Florida Atlantic University, confirms this data, saying buyers there are paying on average 70% “more than they should be. A hurricane won’t slow down, Johnson observes.

“It’s not the hurricane’s making people move here, it’s that after the hurricane nobody’s showing any signs of not wanting to move here,” Johnson said.

The same thing happened with Hurricane Andrew back in 1992: A 2006 report from the National Association of Realtors said the year right after the category five touched down, Florida had “one of the best years for home sales,” which then rose 22% for homes.

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