Florida home sales slide to their lowest level in two years amid hurricanes


Florida home values are falling short of their pre-hurricane levels and the state is seeing a sharp drop in the number of homes being sold, as the region continues to cope with the aftermath of Hurricanes Matthew and Harvey.

The number of home sales in the state fell 0.3 percent to 7.3 million units in October, according to the Florida Association of Realtors, a real estate industry group.

“We’re seeing an increase in the foreclosure process,” said Dan Bongiovanni, chief economist at the Realtor Group in Miami.

As Hurricane Matthew continued to dump rain on Florida in the weeks leading up to the storm, home sales plunged 10 percent to 3.4 million units.

Hurricane Matthew has also led to a dramatic increase in foreclosures across the country, with nearly half of the nation’s home sales going to foreclosers this year, according a report released by RealtyTrac, a commercial real estate research firm.

Foreclosures in Florida have skyrocketed in recent months, the biggest spike occurring during the storm.

While foreclosing has slowed considerably, the numbers of forecloses remain higher than the previous year, when about half of foreclosed homes were in the hands of buyers, according the Realtytrac report.

On Friday, a Florida woman who has been on the market for two years for a house she said she needed was able to sell the home for $1.4M at a time that fetched $3.5 million.

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