What’s Happening to Homes For Sale in Florida’s Gulf Coast?

June 18, 2011

in Regional Real Estate Tips

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cc What’s Happening to Homes For Sale in Florida’s Gulf Coast? photo credit: John Loo

What is happening to real estate in Gulf Coast Mississippi?

First came the hurricanes, then came the oil spills. What’s next for Florida’s Gulf Coast and Mississippi Gulf Coast waterfront real estate? Could good news possibly be around the corner for home sellers or homebuyers?

Not likely, as far as homeowners are concerned. People looking to invest in homes for sale in Florida’s Gulf Coast might see it differently. A summer-long effort to clean up the BP oil spill was just about undone when the Mariner Energy oil rig exploded in September south of Vermillion Bay, and the possibility of future Gulf Coast oil spills can’t be ruled out. In the wake of such eco-travesties, the cost of coastal housing is not looking at an upswing any time soon.  However, this could be good news for investors or homebuyers who couldn’t previously afford Gulf Coast beach villas or Florida vacation homes.

Additional upsets to an already dead housing market is just about the last thing homeowners in the Gulf Coast need. Rental owners along the Florida beaches were already wrangling vacation home cancellations back in May – and that was before Florida’s coastline was contaminated with oil debris. Conditions, as you know, did not improve quickly.

The Hard Numbers: Homes for Sale in Florida’s Gulf Coast and Other Gulf Coast Real Estate

By early August, Bloomberg News reported that the aftermath of the BP spill could lower the value of individual homes near the beaches – particularly those in Mobile, Pensacola and Gulfport – by as much as $56,000, with a total decline in property values totaling $3 billion over the span of five years. Over 600,000 homes will be affected directly; the overall effects on home selling prices are expected to be unprecedented. However, this could make it an advantageous time to buy Gulf Coast beach villas or Florida vacation homes.

Impressions of the Gulf Coast

Clear Capital, a mortgage and lending valuation firm, just finished up a survey that found 25 percent of realtors® think the BP oil spill has all but halted home sales along the Gulf Coast. And it’s not because people are scared of oil-born illnesses or are worried about food contamination. Mostly, it’s the social stigma surrounding the repeated oil disasters. No one wants to settle down in a place where jobs are lost and industries die out following the crises that seem drawn to the Gulf Coast. But once again, buying a Florida vacation home just became much more economically feasible.

Even though the BP oil well has been capped, the fallout experienced by coastal industries (such as seafood, oil processing and tourism) is a long way from being restored. And the local economy plays a big part in housing prices in the Gulf Coast. Consider this: investing in this area or buying that beach home villa could make a great investment if you held it for a long period of time.

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