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Hurricane Sandy's effect on the housing market could mean big problems

People trying to sell their homes in Michigan within the last few years can tell you how difficult it's been. After the housing bubble burst, property value dropped drastically giving the nation's housing market the lowest prices it's seen in several decades.

A majority of the people across the nation were excited when experts began announcing that the housing market was steadily on the rise. It seemed that the depressed market would finally pay out for home owners once again. But when reports of Hurricane Sandy began cropping up in the media, people started to wonder if the increase in the housing market was going to be short lived.

When Sandy finally passed, the clouds began to part and the sun started to shine once more, people realized that their fears had not only come true, but were worse than they had thought. According to current estimates, damages could be upwards of $20 billion, with possibly, as much as, $10 billion of that being covered by insurance companies.

If money becomes an issue and buildings cannot be returned to working condition, many commercial property owners worry that they may lose their tenants as well as their properties. With experts saying that the storm most adversely affected commercial rental properties and with a majority of those properties holding some sort of loan, it would seem that banks could be taking some of Sandy's beating as well.

The housing market, according to some experts, is likely to come to a standstill as clean up continues on the Eastern seaboard. "We'll definitely see lower numbers in new sales and new applications," says the president of the Mortgage Bankers Association when asked how the storm will likely affect the market.

Source: chron.com, "U.S. real estate recovery challenged by Hurricane Sandy," Kathleen M. Howley, Oct. 31, 2012

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