Home Insurance Costs Affecting Property Sales in Some Areas

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  • The housing market has been on a path to recovery for some time now and home sales are generally moving in a positive direction on a national basis. However, this isn’t the case for all parts of the country, and for some of them, it seems that the reason transactions are lagging is that home insurance prices there are simply too high, and agents will certainly need to be aware of this reality.

    This problem seems to have grown particularly prevalent in Florida, where flood insurance rates are likely to go up significantly, especially as the federal government phases out subsidies at just 25 percent of premiums per year, according to a report form the Florida Current. This is because if a property is sold, the new owners would have to pay the full rates set by the National Flood Insurance Program. With that knowledge in mind, home sales in some parts of the state have slowed down significantly, or even fully, even as sales of existing single-family homes were up 10 percent on an annual basis in January statewide.

    How pronounced is this regional problem?
    These higher home insurance price tags seem to have caused such a scare among prospective buyers – who would potentially have to pay thousands more per year than current owners – that a lobbyist for Florida Realtors recently told the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee that 16 separate ZIP codes in the area around Tampa Bay didn’t see a single home sale for the entire month before lawmakers in the state passed a law enabling private flood insurance to be sold within its borders. Home sales in all of the Tampa region were up just 1.2 percent on an annual basis for this reason.

    Miami might be similarly affected, as its home sales went up just 3 percent year-over-year, the report said. This may be further exacerbated by the fact that home prices in both Miami and Tampa are increasing more or less near those seen at a statewide level.

    These added insurance costs could lead many consumers to shop around for other types of coverage that they might need, and might therefore provide a little bit of wiggle room for agents to potentially find more clients in the near future. Keeping close tabs on the kinds of laws being passed by individual states could further assist professionals in finding areas in which they can succeed.