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Florida Realtor Says People Are Ready to 'Swoop' Into Hurricane-Ravaged Southwest Florida to Make Deals Large hurricanes can actually accelerate home value appreciation, studies have shown. It can also speed up gentrification.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomberg I Getty Images
Matlacha, Florida supply drop-off in early October following Hurricane Ian.

A Florida realtor is already seeing people looking for properties in Hurricane-ravaged Florida, according to NewsNation.

"There are some that have been scared away and equally as many who say this is my time to swoop in and make a deal," said Kristen Conti, realtor of Peacock Premier Properties, on the evening program "Rush Hour" on Wednesday.

In late September, Hurricane Ian swept through Florida, killing over 100, and the "indirect" death count, between medical issues and other factors, could be in the thousands, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

It decimated towns like Fort Myers and will likely cost the U.S. some $67 billion.

But don't expect it to push prices down, Conti added.

"I wish I could say prices were going down — I know that's what everybody wants to hear — but unfortunately they're not. We still have tremendous demand. And when you have high demand and low supply, it's a straight-line economics equation which means prices are going to stay high," Conti said.

This is actually a relatively common phenomenon, the outlet notes.

After some of the most expensive hurricanes in the country, home values appreciated more quickly after the storm than before, according to a Veros Real Estate Solutions report.

Hurricane Charley hit Fort Myers in 2004 and cost $23.2 billion in damage, for example. Home value appreciations jumped from $21.6% to 33.6%, the report added.

The same is viewable at the neighborhood level. A 2019 paper from Urban Studies showed that the damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans, especially really damaged ones, after Hurricane Katrina, were generally more likely to be gentrified, per Bloomberg.

Another real estate and economy expert, Ken H. Johnson, told the outlet that basically, a disaster isn't going to prevent people from wanting to live in desirable areas.

"A hurricane or a forest fire is not going to stop the overall progression of where people want to live," Johnson said.

Still, hundreds in Florida are still stuck in shelters — and likely not in a position to make money on a post-disaster gold rush. It is also likely the damage will exacerbate the state's housing crisis.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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