Unsurprisingly, in Surfside, Florida, buyer and tenant interest in older condominiums has plummeted since the tragic collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South last month.
The property agents they say they received far fewer inquiries about older buildings built before 2000, and those who still receive them say they have many questions about the recertification process for these buildings. Recertification is the process by which a building undergoes a safety assessment to ensure that it remains structurally sound.
Some consumers have also requested technical reports on condominiums they ask which agents are more difficult to access.
“This will be more common, at least for a while,” said Seper Nyakan, a real estate broker at the Condo Black Book in Miami. told NBC News… “The fear of entering an old building will be greater and buyers will be much more attentive and attentive to the history of the building’s renovation and maintenance, which was not a problem before.”
South building of Champlain Towers collapsed on the night of June 24and while the search and rescue operation continues, 96 deaths have been confirmed to date. Latest reports 14 people are said to be still missing and there is little hope of finding anyone alive in the wreckage. The only known people who survived the disaster were recovered from the rubble in the first hours after the disaster.
The condominium was built in 1982 and was in the process of completing a 40-year recertification when it collapsed in the middle of the night. Engineers who inspected the building have already indicated that it suffers from “severe structural damage.” specific slabs supporting the pool deck and driveway. According to NBC News, the renovation would likely have cost “millions of dollars.”
In the aftermath of the tragedy, sales of old Surfside residential towers have plummeted and prices and rents have plummeted, especially for buildings lacking a technical report confirming their condition.
Real estate experts say that in order to support the local condominium market, construction operators will need to provide greater access to engineering reports to convince potential tenants and buyers that it is safe to live in them.
Mike Clarkson, president of the Florida-based insurance company Hilb Group, told NBC News that the need for technical reports and safety certifications has skyrocketed throughout Miami and the rest of the state.
“It’s all over the place,” Clarkson said. “The number of emails and phone calls I get and we have 750-800 associations that we provide across Florida is crazy. They call me from buildings only three stories high. “
The demand for additional technical reports may well have serious ramifications for the Florida condominium market. Adam Mopsik, chief executive of Amicon, a construction firm that works with condominium associations, said he believes owners of older buildings in need of significant renovation are more likely to choose them instead of investing millions of dollars in upkeep.
In turn, this will lead to a “feeding frenzy” among developers looking to acquire what they consider to be the best real estate on the Florida coast. Many buildings are likely to be demolished to make way for newer and more secure structures.
Compass Florida real estate agent Paul Sassville told NBC News that he had already contacted an investor who wanted to know how much more buying opportunities this could lead to. According to him, the client compared the situation to what happened on the East Coast in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy damage forced thousands of property owners to sell rather than invest in renovations.
“All the best homes were built in the 70s, 80s and 90s,” Sassville said, noting that much of Florida’s best land has already been built up. “Now you’re going to see a lot more of what we call condominium closings, where developers buy out old buildings, demolish them and build new ones.”