As investigators continue their probe into what exactly happened to cause the condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., last month, one top real estate agent said clients are expressing their fears to her over living in older condominiums following the tragedy that left dozens dead and more than 100 unaccounted for.
"The knee-jerk reaction after the tragic Surfside building collapse has been fear of living the condo life in older structures," luxury real estate specialist Katrina Campins told FOX Business. "Many report not being able to sleep at night, especially those in buildings which are over 40 years old."
Campins, who co-founded The Campins Company, said that at least for now, owner-occupant buyers are shying away from high-rise condos that were built prior to modern stringent building standards and leaning toward single-family homes.
"The demand for single-family homes is already very strong with a lack of inventory in the market and the building collapse has created additional demand in the single-family space as well as the demand for newer condos," Campins continued. "I do believe as a result many older buildings will be purchased by investors/builders in order to put up newer and safer product."
She added, "With time, people's fear may dissipate but right now, the demand is increasing in the single-family space."
Pete Marcucilli, an owner-broker out of Silver Star Realty LLC in Coconut Creek, Fla., agrees that owner-occupied buyers are going to lean toward single-family homes, but said a lot of times that is out of necessity rather than concern.
"Condos will remain popular in South Florida for cash buyers and conventional financing only," Marcucilli told FOX Business. "There will always be a play for this due to the high demand of all property classifications (single-family, condo, townhome, villa)."
Marcucilli, who is part of the Veterans United Realty network, said that "most FHA and VA buyers will shy away from condos and pursue single-family homes since the VA will not fund loans for most condo associations." He added, "there are a few exceptions but for the most part, high-rise condos are not going to work."