Homes Damaged By Hurricane, Yet Neighborhoods Remain Desirable

Property damage from Hurricane Sandy is estimated in the billions of dollars, but many prospective Manhattan property owners, and sellers, remain undeterred. Home prices in Manhattan don’t appear to be going down, even in the hardest hit neighborhoods.

A night view of Manhattan’s Tribeca area, a desirable area for real estate in NYC. Flickr credit: rockroseny.

A night view of Manhattan’s Tribeca area, a desirable area for real estate in NYC. Flickr credit: rockroseny.

New York – Hurricane Sandy may have caused severe destruction to a significant amount of property in New York City, but the real estate market is not predicted to face as many negative repercussions. Despite the damage from the storm, some residents still wish to live in New York’s trendy, marketable, and highly sought-after areas.

According to Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey alone received as much as $29.4 billion in damage from Hurricane Sandy, which includes destruction to the transit system, homes and businesses. Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated damages to total $30 billion in New York.

Most notably included in the damage that occurred is the destruction of many homes. Before Sandy hit, data from CoreLogic, an analytics service specializing in property information, showed residential properties amounting to $88 billion deemed to be “at risk” to hurricane-driven flooding among seven states in the northeast, including New York and New Jersey.

The aftermath of the storm proved CoreLogic’s estimates to be close to target, as neighborhoods that were on or near the water faced severe destruction.  Many homes in Breezy Point, Queens were completely destroyed, and much damage was done to properties along the Jersey Shore, among many other locations in the tri-state area.

Although an abundance of real estate was destroyed in a multitude of neighborhoods, Sandy may not have left the housing market so drastically affected, in terms of what locations are still classified as desirable to live in.

Tribeca, in downtown Manhattan, is currently a sought-after location to rent or buy property, proven by the sky-high price tags that come with the real estate. Despite being left without power, much like the rest of lower Manhattan, property prices will not likely change.

“What I do know is that Tribeca is a desired area,” said Zach Gutierrez, a real estate agent at Anchor Associates. “It takes more then a freak storm to really alter the perceptions of New Yorkers. We are severely overestimating the effect that the storm will have on real estate. It was a once in a century storm.”

However, Gutierrez does think that areas unaffected by the storm may appear more attractive than ever before. The Upper East Side faced very little damage, so Gutierrez predicts that families that live along the waterfront in lower Manhattan may move uptown. “If there is an influx of renters and buyers to the Upper East Side, I think it will come from Battery Park City,” said Gutierrez.

In general, Gutierrez believes that coveted areas will remain pricey, despite the damage that Sandy may have caused properties in those locations. “The popular areas are cyclical. If there is a shift, I think it has less to do with the storm and more to do with the natural cycle of what is popular,” said Gutierrez.



About Jessica Summers

My name is Jessica Summers. I graduated as valedictorian from Marymount Manhattan College in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications and minors in Journalism and Political Science. During college, I spent a summer abroad studying at Oxford University and also held internships at CNN International, CNBC Business News, and WABC-TV, among other news organizations and media outlets. I am currently a graduate student at New York University’s Business and Economic Reporting program. I am an aspiring broadcast journalist, especially interested in covering the world of business and finance.
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