Hurricane Irma’s Effect on the Naples Real Estate Market
Many of my customers have asked about the expected effect of Irma on the local real estate market over the coming months. If history is any indication, any negative impact will probably be non-existent or very brief.
Over the years from 2000 to the present, this area has weathered a few hurricanes, the most significant being Charley in 2004; Wilma in 2005; and most recently, Irma. While storms such as these definitely cause disruptions to business and life in general, the recovery typically happens quickly. Immediately following the storm, clean-up and restoration of services to residents is a priority. Both local and national emergency services are working day and night to make this happen as quickly as possible, as they have in all of the instances mentioned. The clean-up stage may take a bit more time in some areas, but the worst of it should be nearly over. The next phase is the restoration of private property and businesses that sustained damage. This can take a bit longer depending upon the availability of labor, materials, and the extent of damage. Fortunately for Southwest Florida, most damage to structures from Irma is limited to screen enclosure damage, roof tiles and other parts of the roof structure, and in some cases downed trees impacting buildings.
Currently, I anticipate that there will be minimal disruption to activity in the market. Any downturn in the short term is likely to be due to the fact that sellers want to wait to begin showing their properties until repairs are completed and landscapes cleared of debris. Overall, Southwest Florida has enjoyed a balanced market over the past several months, with a good selection of available properties for sale and many buyers ready to secure their place in paradise. I do not expect that to change. Given the sales history of 2017 year-to-date, buyer demand should remain strong, leading to a very busy 2017-2018 “season.” Likely, prices will not be impacted significantly, and if they are, it will only be for a short time.
The important thing for buyers and sellers is: Good decisions are seldom made in a state of anxiety, and although there are no guarantees for the future, history indicates that the market will remain strong and an investment in Southwest Florida real estate will continue to be a prudent one.