Here’s What to Expect Post-Irma With Real Estate

Even as Hurricane Irma brought relatively minimal property damage in Florida as what Hurricane Harvey recently did in Texas, Irma’s aftermath has some repercussions to the Sunshine State’s property market which is likely to be felt in the months ahead.

Many brokers, for one, expect a harder time selling older pre-owned homes with buyers’ bias growing towards newer builds and fresh construction.

In the post-Irma scenario, it was observed that homes of newer construction were able to better withstand the hurricane’s wrath than the older builds. The state’s building standards that have grown stricter in recent years account for such a disparity between the old and new builds in the face of severe weather.

Slack Sales Pace Looms

Meanwhile, the downswing in home sales in recent months is likely to persist onward to the last few months of 2017. Irma’s state-wide disturbance has brought significant delays in home closings, with real estate transactions reported to have suffered a 10-day suspension.

Moreover, residences under contract prior to the hurricane may require some pre-inspection and most likely would need some repairs. The repairs may be needed not only on these pending home sales but also on those that are sales-listed and still awaiting buyers.

As to be expected, post-storm home inspections need to be meticulous and thus could take some time. Besides repairs on any issues which may be unearthed, a price renegotiation may be initiated by a prospective buyer.

Delays in New Home Deliveries

Irma has also halted Florida home construction activity, and delays in home deliveries are already expected. For national builder Lennar, which is based in Miami, it expects 700 of its home deliveries to be delayed during this year’s fourth quarter as a result of Irma’s unwanted Florida visit. Such delays could spill-over to 2018, it said.

Actual storm damage isn’t the only culprit for the expected home delivery delays. Because of Irma, builders have experienced some short-term labor difficulties and power outages. Utility connections are an issue, along with disruptions in the inspection and permitting of local authorities.

South Florida, in particular, could experience a hiccup in sales following Irma. This considering that July and August sales in the tri-county area appeared on a downward trajectory. In July, 4,119 single family homes were sold in the region during the month, down year-over-year by 1.4 percent mainly due to a drop in the Orlando area.

For August, a single-family home sold in South Florida dropped a hefty 9.5 percent to 4,147 compared to a year earlier. These declines were a marked contrast from state-wide sales gains of 2 percent in July and a marginal 0.9 percent gain in August.

Our Post-hurricane Path

Given this post-Irma scenario, it looks like an uphill task for homeowners who seek a quick sale of their property.  But don’t worry much if you wish to engage the market and expedite a fast but fair deal on your residence.

Contact us at 866-886-5345 or fill out this form, and we will zip you through the home selling process. Our long years of experience in the real estate industry empowers us to make a prompt offer even in a market still grappling with some post-hurricane blues.

About Arturo Cuevas:

Arturo Cuevas covers real estate news in Florida as a Contributing Writer at Sarasota Bay Real Estate and The Motley Fool.

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