As fires continue to burn in much of the dry West, a new report from real estate data firm RealtyTrac says 43 percent of homes in this country are located in counties with a high, or very high, risk of a wildfire, hurricane or other natural disaster.
The states with the most homes in these danger zones won’t surprise you. California tops the list, followed by Florida, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina.
It’s also no surprise, really, that home values tend to be higher in areas more prone to natural disaster, says RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist, “because they tend to be closer to natural beauty, like the ocean, the mountains — those are more desirable for many home buyers.”
Over time, though, home prices have appreciated more in less risky areas. The report says since 2005, the average sale price has climbed 10 percent in counties with the lowest risk of natural disaster. In the riskiest counties, prices have fallen 6 percent.
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