Beyond Irma in 2018

Real Estate Newsletter
February 2018


Hurricanes in Florida are fairly common place, but every few years a hurricane impacts Floridians more profoundly.

An estimated 90 percent of homes in the Florida Keys suffered major damage, and neighborhoods across the state took a huge hit.  As rebuilding began, the resilience of Florida homeowners was clear.  Many developers began the rebuilding process with existing clients who chose to stay the course and continue with the build.  Outward migration from the state does not seem to be a factor, but migration into the state may slow, at least initially, so having large numbers of homeowners move forward with plans to build new properties is a measurable asset.

The sheer numbers of homeowners with insurance claims likely indicate that the cost of living for Floridians will go up if you just factor in increased insurance premiums.  Insurance companies will spread out their loss and customers are the ones that will pay that bill.  Other increased costs were more likely temporary, such as rental housing for displaced families, rental vehicles, work and school closures and extended periods of utility repair and the like.

On the bright side, statewide property damage has dumped millions into the economy.  Builders are busy, construction companies are busy, banks and mortgage lenders are busy, infrastructure repair is ongoing and soon, real estate professionals will be as busy as before Irma.  A massive destructive weather event is followed by a massive destructive weather recovery, and recover the state will.  The duration of recovery is directly tied to governmental response, and local, county, the state and the federal governments have been tested.  A high tourism state such as Florida is dependent upon working services such as utilities, sewage and water, which are managed and maintained by governmental entities, and getting the state back “on-line” became the utmost priority for the safety and welfare of everyone.

As homes are repaired and rebuilt and the real estate market gets back to a more regular volume of sales and purchases, real estate professionals should begin to feel that 2018 has successfully put Irma in the rear view.  One very terrific aspect of Florida is that when a devastating weather event comes knocking, legislators get busy updating the building code and finding ways to mitigate future damage and loss, so that the next weather event may not be quite so devastating.

About Fred Gray

Fred Gray is the owner and President of Gray Systems, Inc and is a licensed general contractor in the state of Florida. Fred has been part of the Community Association Manager Continuing Education industry in Florida since 1988.
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