The Real Deal Miami

SoFla ranks second for most homes at risk for hurricanes

Only New York ranked higher for hurricane risk

September 03, 2015 09:45AM
By Sean Stewart-Muniz

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Hurricane Andrew at its strongest point in August 1992 (Credit: NOAA)

Hurricane Andrew at its strongest point in August 1992 (Credit: NOAA)

Hurricane season is well underway this year, and South Florida has more homes at risk than most of the nation, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

The report states that 1.9 million condos and single-family homes in the Miami metropolitan area are at “very high” risk of property damage from a hurricane. That area includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The only metro with more housing units at risk is New York, with 3 million properties.

Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes Co.,.

Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes Co.

When you factor in all natural disasters, from floods to tornadoes, the number of homes at risk in New York grows to 3.5 million. Miami’s number does not change.

“The allure of South Florida’s sun and surf, for most, outweigh any concern of a hurricane threat,” Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, said in the report. “The improved communication, continual education and enhanced predictability all give comfort to our coastal residents. History has shown that we are not only able to survive but in fact thrive with insurance and property improvements after a storm hits.”

Homes in the areas most at risk seem to cost more than those in low risk areas. The median price of a housing unit in a “very high” risk area was $191,224, contrasted to a median price of $151,793 in “very low” risk areas.

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in the report that learning about a market’s risk factors shouldn’t dissuade buyers from closing a deal, and in most cases doesn’t.

“In the interest of personal safety and protecting the value of what is likely their biggest financial asset, prospective buyers and investors should be aware of any natural disaster risk impacting a potential home purchase,” Blomquist said.