News Roundup: Many Unknowns for Real Estate Market Post Harvey


A Texas National Guardsman shakes hands with a resident after assisting his family during Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017 (Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West).

How will Hurricane Harvey impact Texas long term – and what are people doing now to assist with the most pressing needs? We’ll look at these questions in this week’s news roundup.

West Texas Food Bank Sends 30,000 pounds of Food to Victoria

The West Texas Food Bank sent an 18-wheeler full of food and other items to a Victoria food bank this week and continues to collect donations for repeat visits to other food banks.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram said that the food bank sent about 30,000 pounds of food and donations to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent in Victoria. Five of the six food banks in the hardest hit areas are back up and running, and the West Texas Food Bank says it will continue to collect donations at its Midland facility and other drop-off points around town.

The agency is also coordinating with Feeding Texas and other state and federal disaster relief organizations.

NAR Organizes Lobbying Push to Re-Up National Flood Insurance Program

The National Association of Realtors announced a campaign to flood lawmakers with requests to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Reauthorization will make a number of critical improvements to the NFIP including increased funds for mitigation activities, caps on overall premium increases, improved claim and mapping processes, as well as removing hurdles for more private market participation in the flood insurance market,” the NAR said.

If Congress does not reauthorize the NFIP, it will expire on Sept. 30.

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Home Values Still Somewhat a Question Mark

Several issues will factor into Harvey’s impact on home values in the Houston area and other areas ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, reported today.

One expert interviewed said that it took eight years for housing stock to recover to pre-hurricane levels after Hurricane Katrina.

But Harvey’s flooding and destruction have been estimated to be much larger than even Katrina, making magnitude one of the factors. Other factors include the sheer volume of homeowners who did not have flood insurance and the shortage of skilled construction workers.

Historically, major floods have at least temporarily reduced home values anywhere from 3 percent to 19 percent, and in some cases as much as 30 percent.