Clean water is one of the major factors people consider when buying a house. So it’s only logical that the water quality of a city will affect its real estate values and this is the case with Florida.
Florida Realtors say that the city is currently experiencing a downtime with over $1 billion lost in sales because of the poor water quality in the city. According to reports places like Lee County and Martin County will experience an estimated increase in property value by over $541 and $428 million individually if the water quality of the state increases.
To an extent, the property values of both regions are on the rise, but the numbers are pretty low considering that Florida is one of the most popular cities in the world. But with the advent of not one but several algae blooms the real estate value in its regions has declined. The regular recurrence of these algal blooms is what concerns and discourages home buyers and those willing to sell as well.
For the most part, the water issues in Florida are caused by excess nutrients which arise from discharges by lands north and south of the Caloosahatchee as well as Lake Okeechobee. During periods of heavy rain, the two combine and significantly affect water bodies forcing health officials to shut down swimming beaches, scare away tourists and even kill aquatic animals.
According to a Sanibel Realtor when such high water events happen the water degrades to such an extent that you can barely see inches into the water.
Research conducted in 2015 examined homes located on or nearby waterfronts such as the Caloosahatchee River at Franklin Lock and San Carlos Bay near Fort Myers Beach. This study reported that although tourism was still at a high level in Florida, most tourists who spent their time in places like southwest Florida said that they would not come back a second time because of the poor water quality. As a result, there was a loss in sales as well as a loss in rentals.
For their part, locals are aware that the water-quality will affect the value of their properties, but no official body or agency has yet to quantify the impact water degradation will have on selling local properties. The only attempt to quantify these effects was a report released by official representatives who claim that the government is aware that the water pollution negatively affects home sellers. The report also highlights that other factors such as the potential age of the home, local schools, tax rates, and more should be at the forefront of buyers minds while the water problems are undergoing treatment.
For the meantime, the worry remains the lack of steady, clean water will affect not only the real estate in Florida but also the health and welfare of its residents.