In a Flood Zone? Why Your Home in NJ May be More Valuable
The more at-risk for hurricanes and other natural catastrophes, the more money you may get for your home when it hits the market.
It doesn't sound very logical, but that's the pattern uncovered in New Jersey and nationwide by property database ATTOM Data Solutions.
The analysis assessed the risk of six natural hazards — earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surge, tornadoes and wildfires — and compared them to home price trends in thousands of cities and counties.
Nationwide, median home prices in the cities considered to feature the highest risk increased more than twice as fast over the past five and 10 years compared to home prices in cities considered to feature the lowest amount of risk.
In New Jersey, just one county — Ocean — fell in the greatest risk category of "very high," getting bad marks mostly due to flood and wildfire risk, and iffy marks on the risk of hurricane storm surge.
But over the past year, home price appreciation hit 3 percent in the county, according to the report. Median home prices jumped 13 percent in the county over the past five years. The increase was just 2 percent statewide.
Combining the five counties that were considered to present "very low" risk — Burlington, Cape May, Mercer, Salem and Warren — median home prices actually dropped significantly over the past one, five and 10 years.
According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president for ATTOM Data Solutions, the findings suggest natural disaster risk is not a primary factor among folks looking to buy a home.
Seven individual New Jersey cities, out of 199 analyzed, received a "very high" risk score on their own — Beach Haven, Lavallette, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Keansburg, Hoboken and Secaucus, all of which experienced significant damage during Sandy in 2012.
"What we're noticing really is that a lot times these areas (of greater risk) are the places that have greater natural beauty, and that natural beauty comes with natural hazard risk," Blomquist said. "The best example of that is a lot of people do want to be close to the ocean or the water, and that does come a lot of times with potential risk."