America’s Resiliency after Natural Disasters

After Superstorm Sandy, one thing is assured: the impacted regions will rebuild, create jobs, and become stronger. That has always been the American way.

The U.S. housing market peaked in 2005 and then started to fall steeply. However, New Orleans was one of the very few markets with rising housing starts in 2006 and 2007 because of the need to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.  Although a tragic occurrence jobs were created as a result, albeit off of low levels after nearly one million people had left the area in the days after the Katrina disaster. Over time New Orleans eventually succumbed to the broader national trends of economic recession and the subprime mortgage crisis. But the immediate years after Hurricane Katrina were growth years.

Similarly, tornadoes devastated Joplin, Missouri last year. The silver lining of that devastation is that today, there are more jobs in Joplin (80,900 payroll jobs) than before the tornado hit (79,500) from the need to rebuild the community.

Given what appears to be no sizable permanent relocation of people from Sandy, unlike the case in New Orleans and more like the case of Joplin, the Mid-Atlantic impacted region is more likely to get back on their feet sooner. The need to rebuild will help create new jobs in the process.

Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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