With Hannah now being upgraded to a hurricane, Orlando is bracing for a double hit. Well, the locals aren’t - we’re just sort of sitting here watching everyone else panic and buy all our water and batteries…just when my remote stopped working.
But I started wondering if there’s more affected by hurricanes. Yeah, I know everything is affected if a hurricane hits. I was here for Charlie and all his friends, and things were pretty bad, but I’m talking about the days before a hurricane, when Scary Terry, and Tom Sorrells start telling us to “hunker down.” What I found might surprise you.
First, Disney goes into hurricane mode, meaning they will refund you for any tickets you purchased for the week of the storm. Not a big deal, but Orlando’s economy strives on tourism, and Disney is the daddy of all destinations.
Next, I pulled up the Mid-Florida Regional MLS, where Realtors list properties for sale, and this week I noticed that prices were lowered on about 19% of the active listings. My numbers may be off, but it seems like an increase in reductions versus the 8% price decreases the week before. Could this be hurricane related? Not sure. I searched to see if this study had already been done, but I couldn’t find any results, so I will try this again next week, and any other week we have storms in the tropics, I should probably check last year’s results for the same weeks. It could just be an annual trend, but seems pretty legitimate to me.
So why would people in Orlando lower their home prices before a hurricane? Here are a few things that came to mind:
- Get Me Outta Here! - I’ve seen more than a few people panic as a result of hurricanes coming. There’s a good chance they are inspired to lower their price hoping they’ll lock in a buyer before the storm hits.
- Follow the Leader - If this really is a trend, people might see their neighbors lowering their price, and they do the same to keep their home enticing to buyers.
- I’m Not Going Through This Again - Similar to the first one, but more focused on getting out of Orlando before the NEXT storm comes in. “I don’t want to have to worry everytime a storm comes.”
- Nobody’s Going To Want My House Now - Hurricanes brewing in the tropics remind buyers that Florida isn’t always the Sunshine State. Sellers might just want to give buyers a price to overlook the doom and gloom that the media tells you is coming.
So what do you think? Is this just all in my head? I guess more analysis will help, but it still seems like there’s something to my theory.