It’s been a year since Hurricanes Irma and Maria left the beautiful Virgin Islands in the wake of her destruction. And while evidence of their wrath still remains, it is not so obvious as it once was. Some three-quarters of the population of St. Croix was affected by the storm. Nearly 3,000 homes were completely destroyed by the hurricanes, and thousands of others were left with major damage. However, tourism, rebuilding, and foliage regrowth have all come together to begin restoring the community to its natural beauty.
The St Croix real estate market has been one of the most highly-impacted since the storms. Let’s take a look at some of the changes.
Housing Trends Over the Last Year
Active Listing Prices
The value of a piece of property at the time it is put on the market is called the list price. This time last year the active list price for St. Croix homes was just over $600k. Currently, the active list price is nearing the $1 million mark. New listings for this community have more than doubled in price from this time last year, going from just under $300k to &700k.
The absorption rate is the rate at which available homes are sold within a specific time frame. In St. Croix, that number dropped from 18 months to 15 months from July 2017 to 2018.
Same Time Last Year
Comparisons between July 2017 and July 2018 show us just how the real estate market has been affected:
- Number of Listings
There were 270 Active Listings last July, compared to 175 Active Listings in July 2018.
New Listings and Sold Listings held steady at around 25 from then to now, with those numbers bottoming out for the post-hurricane month.
- Listing Prices
The Sold Average List price in July 2017 was at three-quarters of a million ($750k). This statistic has bumped up and down significantly since then, settling at closer to a half-million ($500k) this summer. The Sold Average Sale price, however, has only dropped from $500k to $400k in the same time frame.
- Sold to List Ratio
There is no significant difference in the Sold to List ratio from July 2017 to July 2018.
- Days on the Market
The average turnaround time for real estate in St. Croix in July of last year was 265 days. Those numbers skyrocketed following the hurricanes, then settled somewhat through the winter months. The number has spiked again recently, bringing the average time on the market for July 2018 to nearly 400 days.
How the Housing Market has Changed after the Hurricanes
The market has been affected by the hurricanes, most significantly, by the loss of and damage to so many homes on the island. Lack of supplies and manpower have driven repair prices up and slowed rebuilding time.
The biggest change to the St. Croix housing market, as a result of this, is fewer houses on the market. And while List Prices have increased dramatically, home sales have slowed, driving sale numbers down into a comparable range with 2017.
One thing that hasn’t changed, and likely never will, is the beauty and appeal of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Despite the sustained damage last year, St. Croix abounds with luxury homes, condos, commercial property, fixer-uppers, and vacation getaways, and remains an ideal place to invest in real estate.