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Home Buyers Flock to Florida Cities Devastated by Hurricane Ian

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in less than a month Hurricane Ian It caused widespread devastation in southwestern Florida.

Demand from both locals and out-of-state residents remains strong, according to residential realtors in Naples, Fla. and other roadside areas. Category 4 stormHe says he has received numerous inquiries from people interested in moving to Sunshine State and from people who want to take over bad properties.

“It’s business as usual,” said Kelly Baldwin, an agent at Caldwell Bunker in Longboat Key, Florida.

Rhode Islander Rick Lemma believes owners of damaged properties in Florida will jump at the opportunity to dispose of their holdings.


Kristen Conti/Magical Moment Photos

The cost of hardening homes from wind and floods, along with rising premiums for homeowners and flood insurance, is enough to cause some damage. Longtime Florida Resident Leaves.

But some deep-pocketed investors are showing interest. Her Friley Saucier, a global real estate advisor at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, is working with wealthy individuals to plan his $50 million investment in distressed properties. Ian’s affected area.

“He called me after the storm,” she said. “These homes are still drying and being restored, so I’ve been calling agents and others for a week trying to find properties that aren’t on the market, so they haven’t been listed yet.”

With a principal residence in Narragansett, Rhode Island, Rick Lemma owns a home in Mobile Home Park in Inglewood, Florida, roughly halfway between Sarasota and Sarasota. Fort Myers, it was damaged by a storm. A cash buyer, the day after the storm, he began driving through his local neighborhood looking for run-down beachfront homes and commercial properties before repairing his own.

Mr. Lemma had been looking for an investment for some time, but felt that “the price was very ridiculous.” Now, he believes owners of damaged properties will jump at the opportunity to dispose of their property. “If they were asking for his $1 million before the storm, I would offer his $750,000,” he said.

Indeed, some potential buyers are thinking twice after the damage caused by the storm. According to data firm CoreLogic’s estimates, flood and wind losses to Florida residential and commercial properties are Further, a recent report from brokerage firm Redfin found that 62% of U.S. residents planning to buy or sell a home next year are planning to move to climate-risk areas. I’m hesitant.

Cincinnati’s Greg Langenbahn and Connie Langenbahn are planning a move to Southwest Florida.


Connie Langenbahn

Some who plan to settle in the area are currently reconsidering. Kurt Kuemmerle, 60, a carpenter in Marmora, New Jersey, owns land in Port He Charlotte, about 30 miles northwest of Fort He Myers. He said he had always considered building a house there to retire with his significant other Robin Konshak.

“We’ve found Southwest Florida to be too dangerous to live in permanently,” Konshak said.

But many others are not deterred. Retired school bus driver Connie Langenbahn, 62, and her husband Greg Langenbahn, 61, moved out of their Cincinnati home in November to become permanent residents of Southwest Florida. Become. The couple lived in Sarasota, Florida with their daughter and said they started two years ago while buying a home.

“The hurricane scared my husband, but it’s been my lifelong dream to live in Florida. I won’t give up,” said Mrs. Langenbahn.

The two hope to spend less than $450,000 on a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. “I hope prices don’t go up now because people need homes,” she said.

Some housing analysts believe it will, at least in the short term. “Prices are likely to rise almost immediately, largely due to continued strong demand and a shortage of inventory due to storms,” ​​said Ken H. Johnson, a housing economist at Florida Atlantic University’s School of Management.

President Biden praised the “grit” of Floridians in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian during a visit to Fort Myers Beach in early October. He met with Governor Ron DeSantis to investigate the damage caused by the storm.Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

“Pricing may be volatile in the first few months, but demand for living along coastlines with warmer climates and business-friendly economies has increased after recent past hurricane attacks. It appears to have led to a rapid economic recovery,” said Dr. Johnson.

There are few places in the US where prices are already this high. According to the Naples Area Board of Realtors, the median single-family home sales price rose 24.9% to $725,000 between August 2021 and August 2022 (the most recent month for which statistics are available). rice field. Condo prices rose 34% over the same period.

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After Ian, what will it take for the Florida housing market to recover? Join the conversation below.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area was the nation’s most overvalued housing market in August before Hurricane Ian, according to a study released Oct. 11 by Dr. Johnson and Dr. Eli Veracha of Florida International University. Yes, it turns out that there was a buyer. We are paying an average of 70% of the long term price trends in the region.

“We won’t be able to sell many homes for a while because of the disrepair,” said Kristen Conti, broker-owner of Peacock Premier Properties in Englewood, Florida. End users and investors will drive home prices higher for her 12 to 18 months, she said.

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