WASHINGTON — Florida is expected to be one of the most heavily impacted states by the partial government shutdown.

  • Florida expected to be heavily impacted by shutdown
  • Wallethub said Florida's economy largely driven by real estate
  • Staffing shortages at agencies may lengthen mortgage processing

One major reason: The state’s economy is largely driven by real estate.

“With a lot of people heading to Florida looking for real estate for the summer months, looking for 2019 retirement options, that makes up a fifth of the entire state’s product," said Jill Gonzalez, a public policy expert with Wallethub, an organization that tracks personal finance.

Wallethub ranks Florida among the top 15 states most affected by the shutdown, because the wait for mortgage processing might be longer with a shortage of staffing at government agencies.

“This is something that is hugely affected by IRS cuts, FHA and VA cuts. So, if you’re in the market for a mortgage right now, chances are you won’t get that final stamp of approval for a long time, if at all, before this shutdown ends," Gonzalez said.

The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members and found 75 percent of them said that the shutdown hasn’t yet had an impact on buying and selling homes.

“Most mortgages are open for business and some do not require income documentation. So, because of that most of the business activity is going through," said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors.

Yun said the number of loans on hold could cause uncertainty, which could lead to a slight dropoff in economic activity as the shutdown continues.

One glimmer of hope for Florida’s housing market: There are a number of more expensive properties and buyers snapping up second homes.

What does this mean? Buyers in the Sunshine State are often using private mortgages, and that’s compared to other states where you see larger pools of people looking to the government to close on their homes.