Home prices fall locally as rising interest rates and back to work states takes toll on the housing market. The Fed began raising interest rates in earnest in 2022 and the chilling effect on real estate prices was noticed almost immediately.

Home Prices Fall Locally in 2nd Half of 2022

Home prices are right back to where they began in January, around $414,000 for the median price. The average price is a different story as prices went backwards by about $40,000. Headlines show price gains year over year between 12 and 16%, but that was based on last September and not January. We have mentioned in previous articles that later in the year you will see those price gains come down or go away.

Post Hurricane Ian Home Prices

Hurricane Ian may not help prices either, but not because what you would think. Many of our more expensive homes in SW Florida are closer to the coast. We know many coastal homes flooded, so less will sell. This may help bring down the median and average sales prices for a while. It does not necessarily mean home prices are declining, just that the more expensive homes are not closing.

On the other hand, we could argue home prices were already coming down prior to Ian.  So maybe that will continue?  We analyzed home sales after Hurricanes Charley and Irma in a previous article. In both those cases, prices came down after the storm. With Irma, that price decline continued the next year. In Charley’s case, prices went up, but so did the red-hot housing market everywhere.

Our conclusion was that neither Charley nor Irma stood in the way of what was already happening in the market. It’s as if the hurricane had no effect.  If that holds true with Ian, it will be interesting to see where our market heads going into 2023.

Rising Interest Rates

We expect interest rates to rise further as the Fed battles inflation. Forecasts expect rates to level off mid-2023, but then again, they’ve been wrong for all of 2022. The bottom line is nobody knows what the economy, inflation, nor what the Fed will do until it happens.

We are telling people housing is tight in SW Florida, and Ian did nothing to help that situation. If you’d like to search the MLS and see up to the minute listings, search www.LeeCountyOnline.com. Nobody gets data to you faster. Speed wins finding the best listings in this market.

You need a professional to guide you in this market.  Some listings have damage and insurance claims. Each day we are learning more and more about claims, the 50% rule, and how past home improvements might affect the 50% rule. Navigating listings has never been more challenging, and most of the relevant information is contained in the confidential remarks section only agents have access to.

It might be a good idea to get a baseline of what your home was worth pre-hurricane at www.SWFLhomevalues.com and compare that each month after the storm. I would do so quickly before the new values come out.

If you have questions, feel free to call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500. Experience matters after a storm like Ian. Navigating the home sale and insurance process has never been more complicated than today.  85% of agents have never worked after a hurricane, so you don’t want them practicing on your transaction.

We’re here to help. Hopefully you and your family are safe. We know the heartache this storm has caused. It is heart breaking for sure. Our mission is to use our experience to help where we can.  Good luck, and God Bless from all of us at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.

We’re getting a lot of questions from homeowners who don’t know where to turn. Some want to sell but their home has sustained wind or flood damage. Today we like to provide a valuable Hurricane Ian real estate information update to answer some questions.

Hurricane Ian Real Estate Information Update

Insurers are reticent to issue new insurance without an affidavit that the home is free of hurricane related damage. What if the home has wind or flooding damage? Can the home be sold and financed?

Owner Wants to Sell

You may be able to buy a property with damage. Citizens Property Insurance will write coverage on damaged properties as temporary insurance and will simply exclude the damaged items. FHA has a loan called the FHA 203K that will allow a buyer to make repairs after they purchase. In this case we may be able to get a buyer a loan for a damaged home and do the repairs after closing all the while having insurance to satisfy the lender.

Owner Wants to Stay

What if an owner owns a home and it is wiped out or heavily damaged by the flood for more than the $250,000 flood coverage and they have a current mortgage on the property? FHA has another loan program called the FHA 203H that is only available in special disaster situations. It is a 100% LTV loan meaning no equity in the home is needed. The homeowner can finance on top of the current mortgage so they can rebuild or rehab their home without having to sell.

FEMA Resources

FEMA has setup two disaster centers that will help answer insurance type questions as well as tell you what is available through the state and federal government.  Cape Coral and Fort Myers are allowing people to setup trailers on their property while their home is being worked on. They may have trailer assistance available for you as well as a plethora of other options.


Your mortgage company may call you with some payment relief options that can help. Be careful though as forbearance options shouldn’t harm your credit score but it will affect your ability to finance another home for 2-3 years. You would think when the government offers a relief program it wouldn’t harm you in other ways, so be careful. If you have a FNMA or Freddie Mac insured loan the forbearance is 18 months and is added to the end of the loan. Interest does accrue. Private lenders might require the interest be paid in bulk at some point, and that might be too much for some borrowers.

Assignment of Claim

We have been successful in transferring the right under a claim to new buyers who are buying a damaged home. This is different that assignment of benefits whereby a contractor takes over the claim for your home. This is especially useful in cash transactions as many mortgage companies will not finance a new purchase with an existing claim outstanding.

Be Leary of Out of Town Contractors

Out of town contractors come here looking to make a fast buck. Some are reputable and are lifesavers, while others simply collect as many deposits as they can and skip town. Dealing with a reputable local company when you can is wise because they have a local reputation at stake, and often times you know where to find them.

FEMA 50% Rule

Many cities will require damaged homes to adhere to new building codes. Naples is just one example. If the cost of improvements or the cost to repair the damage exceeds 50% of the market value of the building, it must be brought up to current floodplain management.  See Naples Requirements. Look for Lee County and other cities to enact similar requirements.



Be aware of scammers, both online and at your door or on the phone. Not everybody is who they claim to be. Be careful clicking on links. Scammers today are more clever than ever.

Property to Sell

If you have a property to sell, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. We are local and we have trusted resources. The Ellis Team cares about our clients and will do what’s right by you. We are not in it to make a fast buck. You can reach us at 239-310-6500 We’re here to help. If you have questions, we might know where to find the answer for you.

Praise God to all that survived, and prayers for the ones that did not!