IRVINE, Calif. (9/8/15)--Roughly 43% of the 83.4 million single-family homes and condos in the United States reside in counties that possess either high or very high natural-disaster risk, a recent report by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac has found.
The 2015 U.S. Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report revealed that 35.8 million homes could potentially be affected by tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural hazards (Housingwire.com Sept. 3).
“In the interest of personal safety and protecting the value of what is likely their biggest financial asset, prospective buyers and investors should be aware of any natural disaster risk impacting a potential home purchase,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. “There is no reason homebuyers need to be surprised with natural-disaster risk information when wading through a stack of disclosures at the closing table, given the widespread availability of this data online and even through mobile apps.”
To determine levels of risk, RealtyTrac assigned a natural disaster score to 2,318 counties nationwide. Those counties without sufficient home data were excluded.
Counties fell into five risk categories: very high, high, moderate, low, and very low.
States with the most homes in high or very high risk counties for overall natural disasters were California at 8.4 million, Florida at 6.7 million, New York at 2.4 million, New Jersey at 2.3 million and North Carolina at 2.3 million.
By metro area, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, and Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California had the most homes in high or very high risk areas.
“In most cases, learning about natural disaster risk will not stop a home sale, but it will help buyers make a better-informed decision about where to buy and also be prepared in terms of appropriate insurance coverage and family contingency plans depending on the type of natural disaster risks most affecting the home they end up purchasing,” Blomquist said.