Overall property damage in Florida from the devastating Hurricane Ian could reach up to $70 billion, making it one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, according to disaster modelers with Enki Research. Along with a rising death toll, Hurricane Ian could be the most damaging storm in Florida since Irma, which nailed the state in 2017 and caused an estimated $50 billion in damages.
CoreLogic reports that more than 1 million homes on Florida’s west coast (both single-family and multi-family) may have suffered severe damage. One major casualty of the storm will be Florida’s hospitality and tourism industry, which is crucial to the state’s economy. Florida is one of nine U.S. states with no income tax, and the state government relies heavily on income from tourism. Enki Research predicts damage to Florida’s tourism infrastructure, primarily hotels, could top out at $5 billion. Lost revenue from tourists not coming to Florida as the state recovers could reach $2 billion.
It’s hard to pin down an exact timeline of economic disruption following a major hurricane like Ian, but research suggests reconstructive efforts are evident between two and six quarters after the event, according to Trepp, a commercial real estate data provider. The mid-to-long-term economic effects on Florida are also complicated by a current macroeconomic environment that has become increasingly challenging. The extent of the damage means it may take a while to rebuild and could prove to be a significant setback for some of the hottest real estate markets in the nation.