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Hurricanes and Floods – How They Impact the Housing Market

Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst natural disasters the East Coast has ever seen.  Thousands of people were left homeless after this category 3 Storm terrorized the coastal regions of New York, New Jersey, and other coastal states.  The aftermath of the storm left thousands in need of housing, causing the housing market to go into turmoil.

Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the Boulder Flood can take the housing market in many different directions.  In the case of Hurricane Sandy, the effects were felt not only locally, but on a nationwide scale as well.

Thousands were displaced and needed housing.  This resulted in a surge in the rental market in the immediate area, but also a spike in the housing market and prices, in areas farther away from the impacted area.

However, what happened in a local context was quite the opposite.  As damaged homes needed to be taken off the market to assess the damage, prices began to drop.  People were hesitant to purchase homes in the areas hit by Sandy for fear of another storm.

This hesitation among buyers caused prices to decrease significantly within the hardest hit parts of New York.  While the damaged homes were selling for less, buyers were faced with the cost of repairs, which could be costly depending on the damage.

Courtesy of CNN

There were however, advantages to buying a storm-damaged home.  With a gutted house, buyers could do literally anything they want to the interior.  This could be great for anyone on a budget as they could now purchase affordable appliances for a shell that would have been out of their price range before the storm.

What this could mean for the homes affected by the Boulder Flood

Like New York, Boulder is a highly desirable place to live, and the severity and impact of the flood will resonate among residents, prospective buyers and renters for some time.  Boulder can expect the same impact that Sandy had in terms of the housing market, and the plethora of rental companies in the area are most likely already scampering to find properties.

Over a thousand residents have been evacuated from Boulder County, and their homes are struggling to withstand the flood.  Some homes have been completely destroyed, but others are holding strong despite water damage.   President Obama has allocated federal funding towards disaster relief in an effort to assist Boulder residents in repairing the damage done to their homes.   If the funding is delivered quickly, Boulder County will be able to rebuild and repair at a faster pace, which will be of great benefit to the housing market.

The small mountain town of Jamestown is among the hardest hit areas, and their housing market will likely be on hold for a while.  Most of the houses belonging to the 300 residents have been damaged or washed away, especially those sitting along the river.

Courtesy of Roll Recovery

There will certainly be an initial hold on any buying and selling of homes, as water damage will need to be repaired, homes will need to be rebuilt, and roughly 150 miles of road will need to be restored.  The havoc and destruction is still fresh in our minds, but with luck, and with the help of federal funding, the community, and housing market will return to normal soon.

Open Heart CO has produced t-shirts that will benefit the Colorado flood relief. For more information on how you can help, please visit their website.

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