Well, it's hurricane season again, and that first storm could hit at any moment. For property owners, that means it's time to stock up on wood, trim your trees, and clean out the gutters -- and the sooner, the better.
According to the newly released 2021 Hurricane Report from CoreLogic, this season's set to be a doozy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects 13 to 20 named storms and at least three to five major hurricanes.
Based on that, as well as recent climate assessments, CoreLogic says 8 million homes are at risk of damage from coastal storm surge, while 31 million could be damaged by hurricane-speed winds.
What areas are most at risk, though? And are your investment properties in one or more of them? Let's break down where hurricane damage is most likely.
What markets are most at-risk for hurricanes this year?
New York City has the most homes at risk for storm surge and wind damage this year. According to CoreLogic's report, more than 781,000 homes have storm surge risk (amounting to $304 billion in estimated damages), and almost 3.4 million homes have wind risk.
Those are just single-family homes, though. On the multifamily side, 108,607 New York City properties are at risk for storm surge, while 448,051 are at risk for hurricane winds.
Beyond New York, the majority of the most at-risk markets are in the South -- in states like Florida, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia. Here's the top 15 for single-family homes, according to the report:
- New York City
- Tampa, Florida
- New Orleans
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Fort Myers, Florida
- Bradenton, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Naples, Florida
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Lafayette, Louisiana
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Altogether, the top 15 for both single-family and multifamily properties account for over 68% of all storm surge risks in the U.S.
The bottom line
As with anything in real estate, it all comes down to location. If you're eyeing new investments, make sure you consider the risks of hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters in the area before buying in, and always have a hefty repair fund on hand just in case.
If your properties are already in a risky area, start prepping the homes now. Install storm shutters, trim back the trees, and clear away any debris or buildup in the gutters before that first storm rolls around.