Naples Real Estate Market Assessment Post-Hurricane Ian

Things are on the road back to normal after Hurricane Ian’s historic storm surge levels swept through Naples, Florida at the end of September. Cleanup and recovery has been in full force to address the problems caused by flooding. The damage to the area has left residents, investors, and hopeful movers alike with plenty of questions. What does this mean for the Naples real estate market? What changes can we expect to the city’s housing demand and prices? How can we begin to navigate these changes?

Naples, Florida downtown cityscape on the bay at dusk
Naples, Florida downtown cityscape on the bay at dusk

As trusted experts on all things Naples real estate, the team at Naples Relocation Experts has been hard at work to provide you with answers. We pride ourselves on being the go-to guides for our clients, even in the aftermath of major storms like this. Below is our post-Hurricane Ian assessment for the Naples real estate market addressing common questions asked by our clients.

What short-term impacts can we expect Hurricane Ian to have on the Naples real estate market?

After every hurricane, it’s natural to experience some short-term changes, usually lasting between 1 to 6 months. These small lulls have been reported with other major hurricanes like Irma, Katrina, Harvey, and more. However, these periods are usually not long-lasting or detrimental to the area.

“It hurts demand in the short run and slows things down,” said Drew Josephson, Owner of Naples Relocation Experts. “This season will be a little bit different for Naples. But once normalcy returns, there will be a lot of pent-up demand and people will be coming right back.”

In the meantime, demand certainly won’t come to a halt. Collier County reported that Hurricane Ian caused approximately $2.2 billion in damages county-wide and damaged 2,645 homes in Naples. The damaged homes include both renters and homeowners that must now find a new place to stay. Nearly half of the people currently working with Naples Relocation Experts are looking for solutions because they lost their homes. This provides a lot of opportunities for homes and rentals that are currently on the market.

What long-term impact can we expect for the Naples real estate market?

Hurricane Ian is considered to be the worst storm to hit the area in a long time. Regardless, it should have little-to-no impact on the 5- to 10-year outlook for the Naples real estate market. According to research by Wallet Investor, the predicted sales prices for Naples houses will increase by 18.315% in the next 10 years.

Why was the damage done by Hurricane Ian so significant compared to other hurricanes?

Two words: storm surge. For those unfamiliar with the term, storm surge is defined as “a rising of the sea as a result of atmospheric pressure changes and wind associated with a storm.” This was the cause of the major flooding seen in Naples, Fort Myers, and other areas of Florida.

While Naples is considered to have strong drainage systems in place to help prevent and alleviate flooding, it’s limited when up against such unprecedented water levels.

Town street with scattered debris after hurricane Ian in Florida
Town street with scattered debris after hurricane Ian in Florida

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Ian caused over 9 feet of surge plus the tide level in Naples. At least 6.2 feet of that was the surge itself. For comparison, the previous record for storm surge in Naples was 4.25 feet during Hurricane Irma in 2017. Local officials also reported the hurricane’s 20-foot waves from the Gulf of Mexico are what destroyed the historic Naples Pier.

What areas of Naples experienced the most damage from Hurricane Ian?

As mentioned above, the majority of Hurricane Ian’s damage to Naples, Florida was due to storm surge. The amount of flood damage varies significantly based on distance from the ocean and ground elevation. Properties closest to the water and at lower elevations experienced the highest levels of damage. However, more inland homes or those at higher elevations sustained less damage or even no damage at all.

If you have questions about a specific community or area of the Naples real estate market, please contact us. A member of our team would be happy to provide you with the information!

Can we expect a rush of residents to sell their homes and leave the area?

It’s a common question after every hurricane of whether recent movers will be “scared off” or if long-time residents have become “fed up” with hurricanes. After all, a large-scale move out of Naples could have major repercussions on the Naples real estate market. However, this hasn’t been the case at Naples Relocation Experts or with any of the local realtors we’ve spoken with. In our experience, very few people have expressed an interest in leaving or changed their minds about moving just because of the hurricane aftermath. 

Will Hurricane Ian impact the way new homes are being built in Southwest Florida?

Absolutely! Between Hurricanes Irma and Ian, Southwest Florida has now experienced two catastrophic storms within the last 5 years. This will inevitably affect the standards set when building or renovating properties. In 2002, Florida adopted the Florida Building Code (FBC) in response to damage caused by Hurricane Andrew. This mandated that new construction be able to withstand hurricane-force winds and feature shutters or impact-resistant glass in all openings. The FBC is continuously updated, most recently in 2015, to address issues raised by storms just like Hurricane Ian.

Man working roof with drill post-hurricane ian
Man working roof with drill after Hurricane Ian

At this point, it’s unclear what exactly these new standards will be, but we can be sure that they’re coming. The upside is that improved construction standards will result in stronger, safer homes entering the Naples real estate market.

Will Hurricane Ian affect insurance premiums?

Property owners should be prepared for additional premiums and/or price changes for premiums in relation to wind and flood damage often caused by hurricanes. Naples Relocation Experts will be monitoring for this going forward and providing updates as they become available.

We encourage out-of-state investors or homebuyers to remember that every state encounters premiums specific to their area. Whether it’s blizzards, earthquakes, or another natural disaster, most places in the U.S. have specific premiums tailored to the risks in that region. While they might be inconvenient, these regulations and policies are put in place for the good and protection of our homes and families.

Should you try to sell your property that was damaged by Hurricane Ian?

There’s no simple “blanket” answer on whether you should try to sell if your home or property experienced devastating damage. A lot of Naples property owners right now are questioning whether they should invest in rebuilding or take the insurance payout and sell. Even rebuilding or renovating isn’t straightforward due to restrictions from the 50% rule, permitting issues with flooded homes, and more. 

Aerial view of Southwest Florida waterfront property
Waterfront homes in Southwest Florida

If you’re considering whether to sell your home, the best thing to do is speak with a real estate professional and make a decision based on your unique situation.

Is it still a good time to buy property in Naples, Florida?

Of course it is! Whether you’re an investor, business owner, or looking to purchase a family home, there is still plenty of opportunity on the Naples real estate market. Regardless of Hurricane Ian, home values in Naples are still on the rise and the long-term outlook is positive.

For most people, the appeal of Southwest Florida living is worth the occasional risk of hurricanes. When you have to choose between living through 3 to 6 months of snow every year or dealing with a hurricane every 5 to 10 years, it’s clear which option most people prefer. One of our clients said it best: “As soon as the first snowflake hits the ground up north, people are going to be flocking to Naples.”

If you still have concerns about dealing with hurricanes, check out our Florida Hurricane Preparedness Guide. It’s filled with all of the basic information you need to know to feel prepared during hurricane season.

For specific questions and real-time answers about the current Naples real estate market, we encourage you to send us a message or call us at (239) 269-7685 to speak with a Naples relocation expert.

Drew Josephson
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