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【World Property Journal】As Hurricane Season Kicks Off in US, 7.4 Million Coastal Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage

【World Property Journal】As Hurricane Season Kicks Off in US, 7.4 Million Coastal Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage

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Based on CoreLogic's newly released 2020 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report, nearly 7.4 million single- and multifamily homes in the U.S. with more than $1.8 trillion in combined reconstruction cost value are at risk of storm surge and possible mandatory evacuation in the midst of a global pandemic.

With the Atlantic hurricane season officially starting on June 1, many states are still under stay-at-home orders or strict social distancing guidelines - causing economic stress on housing and forcing communities to develop new logistical measures to recover from natural catastrophes. This year's analysis outlines these operational ramifications, the economic recovery challenges exasperated by the virus, and shares ways to get ahead of what is potentially to come.

This hurricane season begins as the economy struggles, with an unemployment rate that has exceeded 14% in April 2020, and cities at high risk of storm surge damage also face risk of mortgage delinquencies. Miami (5.1%), New York (4.7%) and New Orleans (6%) had elevated mortgage delinquency rates in February, well above the U.S. rate (3.6%) and two months ahead of the spike in U.S. unemployment. Miami, New York and New Orleans are also near the top of the list for storm surge risk, ranking first, second and fourth, respectively, for risk to single family homes. "If a hurricane causes significant storm surge damage during a time when mortgage delinquencies are already high, this could result in additional losses for homeowners, lenders and insurers - and ultimately, delay economic recovery for impacted communities," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "For example, our analysis shows that three months after 2018's Hurricane Florence made landfall, serious delinquency rates had doubled in major metros affected by the storm."
 

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