Industry News

Real estate rebirth after hurricanes

Part 2: Rebuilding after disaster

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Editor's note: After the initial concerns of rescuing people from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the next big question is over the recovery and rebuilding process, which has already begun in Katrina-ravaged areas. In this three-part series, we look back to the rebuilding process after the Oakland Hills fire in Northern California in 1991, Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in 1992, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in downtown Manhattan. We examine the damage in each case, what happened to the local real estate markets in the short-term, and what's happening today. (See Part 1: Oakland Hills Fire transformed character of hillside homes and Part 3: Downtown Manhattan real estate bounced back.) Hurricane Andrew howled through southern Florida in 1992, leaving 28,000 homes destroyed and some $15 billion in losses – but within two years, the area rebounded strongly, and then spectacularly, industry observers said. "The area where I lived was devastated by A...