Hurricane Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas and experts are predicting that it will take on a new path towards the US southeast coast, putting residential real estate homes in danger of destruction.
Hurricane Dorian’s Impact on the Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian came down on the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. As one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes to date, it has already claimed at least 20 lives and destroyed thousands of homes. The latest estimates put the destruction at as many as 13,000 homes which have either been completely demolished by the hurricane or severely damaged or flooded.
The US Forecast
Although the hurricane has been downgraded to a Category 3 and is expected to fall to a Category 2 storm by Thursday night, officials are still warning of the devastating impact Dorian is forecast to have on US homes in its path.
Initially, the hurricane’s path was projected for the coast of Florida, putting an estimated $1.5 trillion of US residential real estate at risk for damage and destruction. However, the latest reports show that Dorian will reach the Carolinas. It will likely affect the 21 metros on the US coast there. Realtor.com estimates that around 6.6 million households will be in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which amounts to $1.7 trillion worth of residential real estate.
Real estate experts predict that Hurricane Dorian will put more pressure on coastal housing markets which are already experiencing a shortage in affordable housing inventory. A senior economist at Realtor.com, George Ratiu, commented on the impact the hurricane may have on the US real estate market:
We expect to see a significant disruption to national home sales and construction if the storm continues on its current trajectory. At a state level, we could see broad economic impacts as extensive property damage could add pressure to already limited housing inventory conditions in Florida and the Carolinas. With mandatory evacuations already in place, several coastal markets have already experienced a decline in tourism and hotel demand.
If you are a rental property owner living in an area that could be affected by hurricanes, learn how to prepare with this guide: How Property Managers Should Prepare for Hurricane Season.
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