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RealtyTrac releases first-ever disaster ratings


IRVINE, Calif. – June 18, 2014 – RealtyTrac released its first-ever Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report, which assigns a natural disaster risk score to more than 3,000 county housing markets nationwide.

Scores assigned to each county's housing market were based on risk data for three natural disaster events – hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes – and each county was assigned to one of five risk categories based on their score: Very High, High, Medium, Low, and Very Low.

Of the 3,138 U.S. counties analyzed in the report, 373 were classified as Very High Risk, representing 12 percent of all counties. The total number of housing units in those counties was 10.6 million, 8 percent of total U.S. housing units.

However, Florida – which has a reputation for hurricanes – had no counties in the Very High Risk category. Most of the state, and almost the entire coastline, is Medium Risk. While hurricanes do sometimes target Florida six months out of the year, the state faces largely only one type of natural disaster.

One exception to the rule is upper Central Florida, which has occasional tornadoes. Those counties fall into the High Risk category, along with coastal areas around Cape Coral and Pensacola.

Nationally, 271 counties fell into the Very Low Risk category with 3 percent of total U.S. housing units.

The biggest percentage of counties and housing units fell into the High Risk Category: 1,118 counties representing 47 percent of total U.S. housing units. There were 511 counties in the Medium Risk category, 23 percent of the total; and 865 counties in the Low Risk category, representing 19 percent of the total.

"In the past natural disaster data was technically available, but difficult for buyers and homeowners to dig up; however, now the data is readily available online for virtually any U.S. property, and buyers should take advantage of this," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

To view a heat map that breaks down county disaster risk, visit the RealtyTrac website.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®


Related Topics: Buyer services