On July 10th, I attended a 1 year recap of life after Harvey put together by Fidelity National Title. It was held at the Junior League of Houston. Panelists included Ed Wolff of Wolff Realtors, Lee Martin of Martha Turner, Mike Brubaker of Burbaker and Associates, Leash Yu from Yu Insurance, and Lori Ford with Cornerstone Mortgage.
Wolff started off by comparing Harvey to other flood events, including Allison. There seems to be a trend of values dropping for the quarter after the event, then a quick rise. After that rise, there is a second dip due to the remodels hitting the market. Then the market is normalized in 18-24 months, citing lack of memory as the biggest contributor to that normalization. Harvey was different, he says, because of the extensive flooding in areas that didn't require flood insurance.
Brubaker stated that his appraisals have NOT seen a rise in value if a property didn't flood. Many sellers are thinking that just because their home didn't flood that their values are more, but that has not been the case. 1900 houses in Meyerland alone flooded. What are people doing? Are they raising their homes, rebuilding, or starting new? It's a very personal choice, and there are many variables that come into play. June 2018--ALL TIME record sales in Houston, and this after 10% of the city flooded less than a year ago.
Yu says every person in Houston and surrounding areas should have flood insurance. "But my house didn't flood during Harvey" is NOT a good mind track.
Ford stated that elevation certificates are invaluable to the process, and if a buyer wants to know about the real elevation of a house it should be ordered very early in the buying process.
Thank you Tamara Mannen for a very informative lunch and panel discussion.