Author ORCID Identifier

Risa Palm:

Toby Bolsen:

Document Type


Publication Date



In September 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida, causing an estimated $67 billion in damage and the loss of almost 150 lives. Before this date, demand and house prices in this area were rising faster than anywhere else in the country. What did homeowners in southwest Florida believe about flood risk to their own homes, and what did real estate agents believe about the role of flood risk in the residential housing market? The survey research summarized in this article shows that not only did residents feel that they were not particularly at risk from flooding, but also that damaging floods would not affect future home values in their neighborhoods or for their own homes. We found that political party affiliation was strongly correlated with the direction and strength of these beliefs. Real estate agents also reported strong demand for low-elevation coastal housing, noting that coastal lifestyle outweighed the prospect of flooding in residential decision-making. They also observed that the detailed maps of flood risk that are now available at for anyone browsing for houses for sale had no effect on homebuyers, and that most of their customers were generally unconcerned with flood risk.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Professional Geographer, 2023


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Available for download on Tuesday, April 30, 2024