Markets & Economy

Risk of natural disaster doesn’t seem to dent home prices, appreciation

RealtyTrac: Weather and access to jobs may override concerns about home damage

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More than half of U.S. homes are at high or very high risk of being hit by a natural disaster, but that doesn't seem to translate into lower home prices or slow price appreciation in the most populous areas, according to a new report from real estate data aggregator RealtyTrac. The firm's first Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report assigned a natural disaster risk score to more than 3,000 counties nationwide based on risk data for hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes provided by federal agencies. Each county was designated as "very high risk," "high risk," "medium risk," "low risk" and "very low risk." Only 34 counties contained more than 500,000 homes. Of those counties, none fell into the very high risk category, 13 were considered high risk, 13 were medium risk, seven were low risk, and one was very low risk. The high-risk counties include Kings, New York, Queens, Bronx and Suffolk counties in the New York City area; San Diego and Riverside counties in Southern Califor...