Home sales up double digits in county hardest hit by Michael

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PANAMA CITY, FL – OCTOBER 10: Broken awnings are seen after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Real estate experts say investors and demand caused by Hurricane Michael’s destruction led to a 15.5 percent increase in home sales for the first half of the year in the Florida county hardest hit by the Category 5 storm.

The median sales price for a home in Bay County also is up 1.1 percent year-over-year, according to Florida Realtors.

Karen Smith, who owns a real estate company, tells the Panama City News Herald that the housing demand comes from construction workers who moved to the county to help rebuild and renters who lost their homes.

She says many people who previously rented are now looking to buy a home because of soaring rents and little supply.

Hurricane Michael made landfall last October in the Panhandle county.

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