Houston’s Market Proves Resilient Post-Harvey

ANNIE CORREAL and CONOR DOUGHERTY  |   September 14, 2017

Houston’s catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey doesn’t appear to be a deterrent for the area’s housing demand. The brokerage firm Redfin says that its agents already have 45 home buyers ready to purchase homes where the storm hit. They said that only eight buyers backed out because of the storm. Showing requests rebounded just a week after the storm, the firm says. But the impact of the flooding likely will have an effect on home prices. Many economists predict that the price of undamaged homes will rise as demand outstrips supply, The New York Times reports. Tens of thousands of homes were damaged during Hurricane Harvey, which pounded some areas with up to 50 inches of rain. Homes for sale that were untouched by the floods are adding signs next to the For Sale sign that reads “Did Not Flood.” Some homeowners who had significant damage to their homes may decide to demolish it and build from scratch, and at higher elevations. Homes that are already on elevated platforms, which is fairly common in the Houston area, are increasing in value, The New York Times reports. Prior to the hurricane, the Houston metro area was growing by about 400 people a day and building 40,000 housing units a year. That makes it the nation’s largest new-housing market. Economists are betting that even the Harvey storm damage will be unable to stop Houston’s rapid growth. Sue and Roger Powell had been trying to sell their 7,100-square-foot house for the past six months in the Houston suburb of Katy. But it wasn’t until after the hurricane that a buyer came forward. Their home had been damaged by the hurricane too and is being repaired. “I was really surprised,” Roger Powell told The New York Times. “I didn’t think anyone would be interested for years.”

Source: The New York Times