Southwest Florida’s real estate sector is experiencing a boom after Hurricane Ian

Southwest Florida’s real estate sector is experiencing a boom after Hurricane Ian

High-profile real estate experts forecast a bright future for Southwest Florida’s real estate market, which, however, depends on hard-to-foretell factors such as interest rates on different types of loans, prices, and political decisions.

According to Randy Thibaut, Founder of LSI Companies and CEO at Sage Communities, no one could have imagined that a disastrous hurricane would cause a boom in the state’s property market. Eventually, though, barrier islands, hit the hardest by the elements, are now experiencing the greatest activity.

Lee and Collier Counties, also affected by the hurricane, are now demonstrating the best performance statewide. For instance, the median price of a single-family house in Lee County reached $416,250, in Collier County, $775,000, and in Charlotte County, $389,450 by the end of 2022. The key parameter is no longer “location, location, location,” as realtors used to say, but availability and the elevation level. Record sales were made in the communities of Babcock Ranch and Ave Maria last year.

After the hurricane, numerous investors flocked to Florida to buy destroyed and damaged properties and build condominium complexes worth several million dollars in their place. Thibaut says that Fort Myers Beach is one of the state’s most promising cities likely to experience a true renaissance and turn into a high-end community with a completely different population.

This is even more relevant for Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Investors are buying even undamaged houses there to demolish them and start new development. The opportunities for builders of upscale properties are unprecedented. After Hurricane Ian, Lee County alone issued 35,000 construction permits—evidence of a real boom.

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