Washington, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire
The full extent of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the overall economy and on the housing market is still unclear. The immediate focus is properly on human life and health, but the number of homes destroyed by this catastrophe is almost certain to dwarf the losses from any previous U.S. natural disaster. Past experience, together with the visible devastation, provides some basis for projecting the effects on construction activity, the supply and cost of building materials and construction labor, and other implications for the housing market.
Loss of nearly 200,000 homes in New Orleans alone
The number of housing units destroyed (made uninhabitable and beyond economically justified repair) by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was estimated at over 28,000; the combined effect of Hurricanes Jeanne, Ivan, Frances, and Charley in 2004 was nearly 27,500, according to estimates by the American Red Cross. Most of that destruction was caused by winds or the immediate force of the storm surge. The number of homes with major but reparable damage was more than twice the number destroyed.
... the flooding in New Orleans, Mobile, and elsewhere is likely to translate into much larger numbers of homes destroyed. ...