Hurricane Irma hit some of the most valuable real estate in the U.S., and that’s hardly a coincidence. Home values in areas prone to natural disasters have been rising far more quickly than in the rest of the country, according to a new study by Attom Data Solutions.
The company matched areas with government data on storms, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires and found that those with a very high risk of natural disasters saw home prices rise 55 percent since 2012 to an average of $325,178. Prices in areas with the lowest risk rose a mere 30 percent to $223,375.
Attom’s Daren Blomquist said traits many homebuyers value, such as ocean views or warm weather, also increase risks. But more importantly, many of the cities in the path of floods and hurricanes, such as Houston, Palm Beach, and Miami, have seen strong economic growth, pushing up property values.
“The primary reason people buy a home somewhere is that there are jobs there,” Blomquist said.
CoStar estimated last month that hurricane Harvey may have flooded $55 billion worth of Houston real estate.
— Konrad Putzier