News Column

US Housing Market Recovery Challenged by Sandy

Oct. 31, 2012

The recovery of the U.S. housing market, which has gained momentum earlier this year, is facing fresh challenges from flooding and property damage imposed by Hurricane Sandy, local media reported Tuesday.

The tropical gale battered houses in U.S. eastern coastal states, accounting for about one fifth of the country's real estate sales, and threatened inland areas with flooding and blackouts, the reports said.

CoreLogic Inc., a California-based mortgage software and data firm, estimated that about 88 billion-dollar worth of homes in seven U.S. states are at risk of damage, with New York having 35.1 billion- dollar worth of property in harm's way and New Jersey having 22.6 billion dollars affected.

In addition, super storm Sandy may also adversely impact commercial properties and securities linked to their debt. New York accounts for 13.2 percent of property loans contained in commercial-mortgage bonds, said the reports.

There would be definitely lower numbers in new sales and applications of mortgages, noted David Stevens, president of the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association. "We do expect to see lenders put a freeze on properties across the northeast on the shoreline until they can be inspected and assessed for damages."

With constant improvement recently, the U.S. housing crash is said to have reached the bottom and become a bright spot of U.S. economy.

Sandy, about 1,000 miles wide, made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening, prompting warnings of life-threatening storm surges from Virginia to Massachusetts and killing dozens of people.

Source: Copyright Xinhua News Agency - CEIS 2012

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