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How Natural Disasters Impact Housing

With Hurricane Florence scheduled to make landfall as early as Thursday evening, CoreLogic [1] took a look at how natural disasters impact housing and delinquency rates. In this video [2], Frank Nothaft Chief Economist, CoreLogic discusses just how much delinquency rates jumped in impacted areas following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Giving the example of the Tubbs wildfire, which destroyed around 3,200 homes in 2017, he explains how the loss of housing stock also affects the cost of shelter in affected neighborhoods, especially those that had already had a severe shortage of homes. "The increase in demand coupled with the reduction in housing stock translates into upward pressure on prices and rents for undamaged homes," Nothaft said. "CoreLogic’s rent data have documented the increases: In Santa Rosa, single-family rents have risen at a double-digit pace after the Tubbs fire, and rent growth in the Houston and Cape Coral metro areas accelerated after hurricanes Harvey and Irma."

Natural disasters, Nothaft notes, not only homeowners who have seen their homes destroyed, but also workers who no longer have a job to go to.  "After last year’s trio of hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria – serious delinquency rates on home mortgages tripled in the Houston and Cape Coral metro areas and quadrupled in San Juan," he said.