Industry News

Hurricane Katrina’s long-term impact on real estate

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The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina will likely have little long-term negative effect on the housing market in the affected states, real estate experts say. Despite the horrific scenario of 80 percent flooding in New Orleans, as many as 100 deaths and an estimated $25 billion in damage in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi reported today, industry figures held out hope for the future. "The housing market will bounce back," said Grant Thrall, a University of Florida professor who studies the effect of calamities on real estate values. "We have found from environmental hazards in general that the market has a very short-term memory." "You have very strong market fundamentals in these states," said Walter Molony, a National Association of Realtors spokesman. "You have a very strong coastal draw and strong second-home market in coastal areas. You have people retiring to those areas." Molony noted that all three states had record sales in 2004 and were on track to rack up new reco...