NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Hurricane Sandy destroyed thousands of homes in its path, flooded countless others, and left homeowners all along the Upper East Coast wondering how much it will cost to repair their now damaged homes. Analysts at the housing research firm CoreLogic estimate the storm caused $88 billion in damages to approximately to 284,000 residential properties in the Mid-Atlantic region alone. So, how does the storm's destructive path affect the housing market in metropolitan areas like New York City or in beach communities along the Jersey shoreline?
In lots of ways! At first, the number of home sales will drop because homeowners will take their previously "For Sale" properties off the market to repair the damages caused by the storm. Also, people searching the market for a home will be more apprehensive to purchase a property if it's damaged. Pending sales could also fall apart as prospective buyers will likely ask for a new appraisal on a property before signing the paperwork. And, with fewer homes on the market, you can expect to see listing prices to increase. It's a case of simple supply and demand! Homeowners who were fortunate enough to not be affected by the storm know there's less out there to chose from, so they'll profit from the natural disaster, by raising prices due to the reduced inventory.
Economists say that because the storm had such a wide path, the effects will be felt across the region -- but no single area will be severely affected. In other words, don't expect to see a complete housing market collapse anywhere near the likes of what happened in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. If there is anything good that can be taken from this storm it's that it occurred right before housing construction typically slows down for the winter. It's a phenomenon called "seasonality", and simply put, fewer people build new homes or do renovations in the colder months of the year. This is especially true in the Upper East Coast, where the winter months can be bitterly cold! Also, many homes along the Jersey Shore are beach rental properties, so owners of those homes will likely not see the repairs as an immediate priority, since beach season is six months away. So, builders in the area were already prepared for a drop-off in their workloads. In four to six months -- which is the typical amount of time it takes for home insurance payments to be distributed after a storm -- expect to see the home construction business to see a boom from the storm's victims. By then, it will be warm again, and homeowners with insurance checks will decide to either repair the damages caused by the storm, or completely rebuild a new home. What about foreclosures? As for foreclosures, many things could happen! Many lenders have already announced they are willing to work with homeowners affected by the storm, and they will accept late payments instead of foreclosing on a property. Obviously, this is a case-by-case scenario, so if you were affected by Hurricane Sandy, it's best to talk directly with a representative from the financial institution who handles your mortgage. Economists also speculate that many homeowners who were behind on mortgage payments and were close to foreclosure before the storm are more likely to walk away from a damaged property and accept foreclosure instead of a short sale or other quick fix options. New York and New Jersey were among the slowest states in judicial foreclosure processes in the country prior to the storm, and this destruction and devastation could slow that process down even more in those states in the months to come.