It’s been almost two weeks since Hurricane Ian made landfall in SW Florida as a category 4 storm. Our sister cities to the north; Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs and parts of Estero, as well as the barrier islands; Sanibel & Captiva, Pine Island and Matlacha suffered devastating losses. It will take months, if not years, for them to rebuild. Much of Naples is back up and running and it’s projected that 95% of our businesses will be open by November 1st. As I drove both north and east on US 41 this week it was hard to tell we had a hurricane such a short time ago. Those who suffered the most damage are both businesses and residences [homes and condos] on the water and/or in the coastal communities, such as Olde Naples, which were built prior to the current flood elevation codes. Only time will tell what will become of these homes and condos, but many believe these older communities can expect major redevelopment. Our beloved Naples Pier WILL be rebuilt! Our beaches are undergoing massive clean-up! The people of Naples are resilient and courageous and they are showing up in charitable endeavors in every capacity imaginable!
The day after the storm there were 2.6 million customers without power in Florida. As of this writing there are still 15,000 without power; but that in itself is an amazing feat. Combine that with the fact that today I witnessed a convoy of over 200 bucket trucks cross over the Sanibel Causeway, which just one week ago was severed, is again nothing short of a miracle! Our governor said the causeway will be open to residents by October 21st. WOW!
Our broker hosted a very informative monthly business meeting this morning with guest speaker Cindy Carroll of Carroll & Carroll Appraisers. Standing room only at our remote office and another 44 agents attended online, Cindy gave a synopsis of the real estate market. And although she said she did not bring her “crystal ball” to the meeting, she shared her experience as a third generation Neopolitan, with the group, and we left feeling optimistic. Additionally, we had an agent from the Florida Panhandle, who has been through several big storms, speak to the crowd as well as the President of Coldwell Banker Realty Florida, Duff Rubin.
Here are some of the key points I took away from the meeting:
Flooded homes and condos selling “As Is” will likely dominate the upcoming season/market, rather than seller’s ‘fixing/renovating’.
Expect flood insurance to go up in Florida.
We will see investors who capitalize on these opportunities coming into the market.
Hedge Funds are already being created to invest in distressed properties in SW Florida.
There will be a lot of “fixing under the radar” going on, but this will be limited to non-mortgaged homes where owners are willing to self-insure and forgo the FEMA insurance regulations.
Any property that did not take on any water, especially those in coastal areas, are projected to maintain their value or increase in value.
Buyers from our feeder markets will continue to migrate to Florida in droves seeking warmer winters and attractive tax advantages.
The team at NaplesRealEstate.com is working diligently to reach out and speak with all our friends and past customers. We are hearing many will rebuild, and some are looking at selling and moving inland. Either way, no one yet has told us they are leaving Naples! #NaplesStrong #StillParadise #WeWillRebuild #TheresAlwaysSunshineAfterTheStorm
We are standing by should you need us for anything! Please do not hesitate to call upon us should you have any questions or concerns.
The Naples Real Estate Blogger