Home Price Appreciation in Highest-Risk Natural Hazard Cities

Having to brave hurricanes and other natural disasters may actually come with a price premium for homeowners.

According to a report from property database ATTOM Data Solutions, median home prices in cities with the top 80th percentile for natural hazard housing risk have appreciated 40 percent on average over the last 10 years — 1.7 times the 24 percent home price appreciation in the overall U.S. housing market during the same time period.

The report is the just-released 2018 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index.

For the report ATTOM indexed natural hazard risk in more than 3,000 counties and more than 22,000 U.S. cities based on the risk of six natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surge, tornadoes, and wildfires.

ATTOM also analyzed housing trends in 2,616 cities and 440 counties — containing more than 53 million single family homes and condos — broken into five equal quintiles of natural hazard housing risk (see full methodology below).

Foreclosure rates elevated in highest-risk flood cities

Foreclosure rates were lower in cities in the top 80th percentile for natural hazard housing risk, and this was true for all individual natural hazard risk types except for flood risk.

In cities in the top 80th percentile for flood risk, active foreclosures represented 0.61 percent of all properties, well above the foreclosure rate of 0.38 percent across all risk categories.

Cities with the highest flood risk also posted seriously underwater rates (loan-to-value ratio of 125 percent or higher) above the overall market average — 8.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 8.5 percent nationwide.

Tornado risk was the only other individual natural hazard risk factor with seriously underwater rates above the market average in the highest risk cities — 10.0 percent of all homes with a mortgage.

Buyers paid a premium for homes in highest-risk cities in 2018

The report also shows that homebuyers so far in 2018 paid an average 1.0 percent premium above estimated market value for homes in cities with the highest natural disaster risk while homes in cities with the lowest natural disaster risk sold at an average 3.7 percent discount below estimated market value.

The exception to this trend was in cities with the highest flood risk, where homes sold at an average 2.4 percent discount below estimated market value, cities with the highest tornado risk (2.2 percent discount below estimated market value), and cities with the highest hurricane storm surge risk (1.4 percent discount below estimated market value).

Among the 2,616 cities analyzed in the report with sufficient housing trend data, those with the top 20 highest natural hazard housing risk indexes were all located in the following metropolitan statistical areas: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Diego, California; Clearlake, California; San Jose, California; Madera, California; Riverside-San Bernardino, California, Bakersfield, California; Houston, Texas, Santa Cruz, California; and Huntsville, Alabama.

Among the 440 counties analyzed in the report with sufficient housing trend data, those with the highest natural hazard housing risk indexes were Oklahoma County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City); Monroe County, Florida (Key West); Santa Cruz County, California (Santa Cruz); Santa Clara County, California (San Jose); and Marin County, California (San Francisco).

Among those same 440 counties, those with the lowest natural hazard housing risk indexes were Milwaukee County, Wisconsin (Milwaukee); Muskegon County, Michigan (Muskegon); Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland); Kenosha County, Wisconsin (Chicago metro); and Monroe County, New York (Rochester).

Find out more at attomdata.com

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