Listings, sales in Cape Coral-Fort Myers bounce back from Hurricane Ian

by Emily Marek

The residential real estate market in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area has begun to recover from last fall, when Hurricane Ian caused listings and sales to plummet.

According to projections from Redfin, there were 900 fewer listings available in Cape Coral-Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian than there would have been if the storm had not hit. Despite this, the metro gained 1,314 more listings than projected in the following six months.

Redfin says this phenomenon is likely due to a “backlog” of market activity created by the storm. Despite the fact that more intense storms can be expected due to climate change, homebuyers are still moving to the Sunshine State in search of warm weather and relatively affordable home prices, according to Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

“As homebuyers have moved into Florida, insurers have moved out, leaving homeowners with fewer and more expensive coverage options,” Bokhari said. “Ultimately, lower-income residents may be pushed out to the riskiest areas due to rising insurance and rebuilding costs. Those who can afford to remain will likely see their home values appreciate at a slower clip as the dangers of climate change become impossible to ignore.”

A number of vacant lots have also hit the market in Cape Coral and Fort Myers — many of which were home to properties that were destroyed in the hurricane. There were 6,167 active land listings in the metro area as of June 16 — almost equal to the number of active home listings at the time (6,619).

When it comes to sales, Redfin projects that Hurricane Ian prevented 723 home sales in Cape Coral-Fort Myers. While there were 538 more sales than projected in the following six months, that’s still a deficit of 185 sales.

“The fact that home sales in Cape Coral have started to recover indicates that many homebuyers continue to prioritize waterfront views, relatively affordable home prices and lower taxes above climate concerns,” the Redfin report said.

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