Are Florida Insurance Premiums Hurting the Real Estate Market? Sales Down, Prices Up

State and national news reports have raised questions about the impact that high property insurance premiums in Florida have had on the real estate market and if the costs are prompting some residents to consider moving elsewhere.

The Miami Herald reported Saturday that home sales in south Florida have continued to drop as housing prices have soared. Miami-Dade County recorded 24,154 sales of single-family homes and condominiums in 2023 – a 39% decline from 2021. The median price for a home in the county was $610,000 in December, about 15% higher than the year before, the newspaper reported.

The report quoted real estate experts who suggested that the real estate market in south Florida will improve this year as more listings become available.

But an article in Newsweek noted that the spike in homeowners and condo insurance rates in recent years are putting a damper on people’s abilities to obtain mortgages, which is having a negative impact on real estate sales.

Sean O’Dowd, an institutional investor based in Chicago, said that some of the largest residential real estate investors have warned investors to stay away from Florida, despite recent legislative reforms that aimed to reduce excessive claims litigation in the state.

Another report in Newsweek suggested that some Florida residents are now thinking about leaving the state as home insurance costs have risen to some of the highest in the country. But the article quoted only one retiree who said insurance costs have put her and her husband in a dilemma about whether to move somewhere else.

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