Natural disasters naturally have an effect on the real estate markets they hit. With Hurricane Harvey dumping upwards of 50 inches of rain on Houston and surrounding areas, the widespread flooding and other storm damage has already impacted the housing market. According to real estate experts at Texas A&M, our state was on pace to set sales records again in 2017; however, the dampening of the Houston market will likely put the brakes on that. Houston makes up about 25 percent of the overall Texas housing market, and once you include areas like Corpus Christi, that percentage rises to almost 30. Growth in the other 70 percent cannot overcome the decline in our area.
While entire neighborhoods flooded in some areas, other areas with flooding saw one house with two feet of water in it while the house next door was untouched. This sporadic flooding can be confusing for people looking to buy from out of town, so it is important to point out a house did not flood when marketing it.
Community Impact newspaper estimates that almost 200,000 single-family houses sustained damage from the storm. As these homeowners rebuild, there will be a need for temporary housing for those displaced families as well as out of town workers who come to the state to help. This bodes well for the rental market, but renters themselves can expect to see an almost 10 percent increase in rent prices.
Homes that were undamaged and at higher elevations than those around them are expected to increase in value, despite nearby flooding. These homes will likely sell faster than new construction, because according to the New York Times, a shortage of construction workers is expected as many with those skills will be focused on repairing damage rather than building new.
Even homes that sustained damage are expected to bounce back. Houston and vicinity adds about 400 people daily and is the largest new construction housing market in the country. Because of this, experts agree that Houston’s housing market is virtually unstoppable.