Natural disasters and real estate

Short-term pain doesn't always portend long-term impacts

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The expected storm surge from Hurricane Sandy could result in loss of life and billions in property damages, not to mention delay thousands of mortgage loan approvals and home sales. With the recent exception of Hurricane Katrina, natural disasters and man-made catastrophes tend to have only limited long-term impacts on housing sales, housing markets, and the real estate industry. Earthquakes that hit California in 1989 and 1994 were also setbacks for housing markets, under different circumstances explored below.