25M Americans Live in High Risk Hazard Areas

December 17, 2015

Thirty-eight percent of 64 million homes analyzed nationwide are deemed at “high risk” or “very high risk” for manmade environmental hazards, according to RealtyTrac’s second annual Manmade Environmental Hazards Housing Report. The estimated market value of these 25 million homes in high risk is $6.9 trillion, according to the report.

RealtyTrac analyzed ZIP codes to find the prevalence of five manmade environmental hazards: air quality, superfund sites, polluters, brownfields, and former drug labs.

“Buying a home in an area with low risk of manmade environmental hazards may not just be a good idea for health and safety reasons; it may also be good for financial reasons,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Across the country, home prices in high risk ZIP codes were lower on average, and appreciation over the last 10 years slower when compared to home prices and 10-year appreciation in low risk ZIP codes.”

For 2015, the median sales price of homes in high risk ZIP codes for manmade environmental hazards was $251,106 -- 15 percent lower than the median sales price of $295,202 for homes in ZIP codes with low or very low risk, according to the report.

The metro areas with the highest percentage of ZIP codes at high risk for manmade environmental hazards were in Northern Ohio and California.

On the other hand, the following 12 major metro areas had no ZIP codes at high risk for manmade environmental hazards:

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. Anchorage, Alaska
  3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  4. Charleston, S.C.
  5. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  6. Naples, Fla.
  7. Palm Bay, Fla.
  8. Port St. Lucie, Fla.
  9. Provo-Orem, Utah
  10. Salinas, Calif.
  11. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  12. Winston-Salem, N.C.

Source:  RealtyTrac