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2014 CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis Identifies More Than 6.5 Million US Homes with Total Reconstruction Value of Nearly $1.5 Trillion at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge Damage

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Thursday, July 10th 2014
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More than $986 billion in risk is concentrated within 15 major metro areas—

IRVINE, Calif., July 10, 2014––CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its 2014 storm surge analysis featuring estimates on both the number and reconstruction value of single-family homes exposed to hurricane-driven storm surge risk within the United States. According to the findings, more than 6.5 million homes along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of storm surge inundation, representing nearly $1.5 trillion in total potential reconstruction costs. More than $986 billion of that risk is concentrated within 15 major metro areas. This exposure could constitute significant risk for homeowners and financial services companies, as many at-risk homes lack protection from insurance coverage.

The analysis examined homes along the coastlines of 19 states and the District of Columbia in the Gulf and Atlantic regions, extending as far west as Texas and as far north as Maine. Florida ranks number one for the highest number of homes at risk of storm surge damage, with nearly 2.5 million homes at various risk levels and $490 billion in total potential exposure to damage.  At the local level, the New York metropolitan area, which encompasses northern New Jersey and Long Island as well, contains not only the highest number of homes at risk for potential storm surge damage (687,412), but also the highest total reconstruction value of homes exposed, at more than $251 billion.

To enhance accuracy, the 2014 CoreLogic storm surge analysis has been expanded from prior years’ reports to encompass additional categories of single-family residential structures including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins, among other non-traditional home types. The addition of these categories, along with new construction, contributed to a higher number of total homes identified within potential surge areas. The values represent estimates of reconstruction costs, taking into account labor and materials, and are based on 100-percent or total destruction of the residential structure. Depending upon the amount of surge water from a given storm, there may be less than 100 percent damage to the residence, which would result in a lower realized reconstruction cost.

While scientific predictions are pointing to lower-than-normal storm activity for 2014, the risk of significant damage to homes is a constant threat. “Though the 2013 hurricane season will be remembered for the fact that no storms made landfall along the U.S. coast, this reprieve from hurricane-related damage should not lead to complacency in preparing for future storms and the potential life-threatening conditions they can bring,” said Dr. Thomas Jeffery, senior hazard scientist for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “This year’s season is projected to be slightly below normal in hurricane activity, but the early arrival of Hurricane Arthur on July 3 is an important reminder that even a low-category hurricane or strong tropical storm can create powerful riptides, modest flooding and cause significant destruction of property.”

The 2014 analysis shows that total exposure varies significantly from state to state given differences in population, trends in residential development, geographic risk factors, length of coastline and other distinguishing factors. Florida and Texas, for example, are within the top five states for number of properties at risk primarily because of their extensive coastlines (Table 3). Louisiana and New Jersey, on the other hand, have a smaller coastal area overall, yet are included in the top five list as a result of relatively low elevation that allows storm surge inundation to extend farther inland and affect more homes. 

The concepts in this analysis also complement Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone information to provide a snapshot of potential damage exposure at the property level, as many properties located outside designated FEMA flood zones are still at risk for storm surge damage. The standard FEMA flood zones are designed to identify areas at risk for both freshwater flooding as well as storm surge based on the likelihood of either a 100-year or a 500-year flood event. They do not differentiate risk based on storm severity, and as a result, do not effectively define the total extent of the risk possible along coastal areas.

To illustrate varying degrees of flood risk exposure, Table 6 compares homes that are not located within FEMA 100-year floodplains against the number of homes located in surge inundation zones, as well as those located in both surge and FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). Homeowners who live outside the FEMA flood zones typically do not carry flood insurance, given that there is no mandate to do so, and therefore may not be aware of the potential risk storm surge poses to their properties. Among select major metro areas, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC has the highest percentage of homes (86 percent) at risk of storm surge, but not designated in a FEMA flood zone. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD and Jacksonville, Fla. also top the list at 85 percent and 76 percent, respectively. Even in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, 68 percent of homeowners at risk of flood or surge inundation would not be required to carry flood insurance because they are not located within a designated FEMA 100-year floodplain.

Additional findings in the CoreLogic storm surge analysis include:

  • The five states with the highest total number of properties at risk include: Florida (2,488,277), Louisiana (738,165), New York (466,919), New Jersey (445,928) and Texas (434,421).
  • The five states (including the District of Columbia) with the lowest total number of properties at risk include: the District of Columbia (3,895), New Hampshire (10,853), Maine (23,439), Rhode Island (26,558) and Delaware (48,534).
  • The five states with the highest value of reconstruction costs for homes at risk include: Florida ($490,403,653,377), New York ($182,474,294,695), Louisiana ($161,062,467,382) New Jersey ($134,194,963,314) and Virginia ($92,001,482,217).
  • The five states with the lowest value of reconstruction costs for homes at risk include: District of Columbia ($394,437,173), New Hampshire ($2,649,086,294), Maine ($6,629,856,369), Rhode Island ($7,389,384,876) and Alabama ($10,333,310,460).  
  • The reconstruction value of the homes exposed to storm surge damage in the Gulf is much less than the reconstruction value of homes in the Atlantic region, as indicated in Table 2. The total reconstruction cost value of homes along the Atlantic coast is nearly $951 billion, which is approximately double the value of at-risk properties in the Gulf region at just over $545 billion. 

CoreLogic releases storm surge data to enhance understanding of the risk that hurricane-driven storm surge poses to homes, institutions and economies that are prone to tropical storms. Fully understanding the number of homes and financial impact of sustaining storm surge damage is critically important for financial institutions, corporate entities and local governments to make better informed risk management decisions. Storm surge data is highly useful for insurance providers and financial services companies, as it enhances the understanding of potential exposure to water damage for homes, including those that do not fall within the designated FEMA flood zones. Recent regulatory guidelines are compelling financial services companies subject to federal stress testing to understand under-insured or uninsured risks like storm surge flooding, since exposed properties have a significant risk for default following an event. More granular insight into storm surge impact is necessary for preparation and mitigation efforts that can help reduce the amount of damage and loss, and also improve safety and disaster response.

Table 1 – Residential Exposure by Storm Category for the Entire U.S.

 

Storm Surge Risk Level

(Storm Category)        

Total Homes Potentially Affected

Total Estimated

Reconstruction Cost

(U.S. dollars)

Extreme (Affected by a Category 1-5 storm)

1,698,510

$410,311,136,086

Very High (Category 2-5)

1,422,302

$328,864,859,770

High (Category 3-5)

1,562,755

$358,386,053,345

Moderate (Category 4-5)

1,159,506

$267,920,396,772

Low (Category 5)

669,105

$131,010,761,964

Total

6,512,178

$1,496,493,207,937

 

Table 2 – Residential Exposure by Coastal Region

 

Region

Atlantic Coast Homes

(Potential)

Atlantic Coast Structure Damage Exposure (Estimated)

Gulf Coast  Homes (Potential)

Gulf Coast Structure Damage Exposure (Estimated)

Extreme

 

1,005,544

$269,585,189,074

692,966

$140,725,947,012

Very High

 

899,461

$228,229,456,329

522,841

$100,635,403,441

High

 

851,057

$214,135,275,085

711,698

$144,250,778,260

Moderate

 

677,692

$173,729,009,413

481,814

$94,191,387,359

Low

325,483

$65,241,738,808

343,622

$65,769,023,156

Total

3,759,237

$950,920,668,709

2,752,941

$545,572,539,228

 

Table 3 – State Table (Ranked by Number of Homes at Risk)

 

Rank

State

Extreme

Very High

High

Moderate

Low

Total

1

Florida

789,090

459,090

519,409

347,860

372,828

2,488,277

2

Louisiana

160,744

102,347

262,340

134,588

78,146

738,165

3

New York

128,462

114,949

132,179

91,329

N/A

466,919

4

New Jersey

116,613

178,037

74,284

76,994

N/A

445,928

5

Texas

44,569

70,732

110,487

114,945

93,688

434,421

6

Virginia

93,969

115,232

98,190

83,768

27,353

418,512

7

South Carolina

99,884

52,358

59,113

41,490

27,349

280,194

8

North Carolina

72,597

51,016

48,588

40,074

36,889

249,164

9

Massachusetts

31,023

65,124

73,781

48,985

N/A

218,913

10

Maryland

47,825

39,807

27,740

28,719

N/A

144,091

11

Georgia

38,891

48,394

26,513

18,136

8,087

140,021

12

Pennsylvania

1,468

45,582

37,860

32,007

N/A

116,917

13

Mississippi

15,071

20,871

28,644

26,408

10,828

101,822

14

Connecticut

25,227

23,350

22,187

26,462

N/A

97,226

15

Alabama

7,365

12,765

10,182

14,080

13,937

58,329

16

Delaware

11,497

10,416

13,016

13,605

N/A

48,534

17

Rhode Island

6,635

5,972

6,731

7,220

N/A

26,558

18

Maine

5,254

2,942

7,558

7,685

N/A

23,439

19

New Hampshire

2,326

3,317

3,194

2,016

N/A

10,853

20

District of Columbia

N/A

1

759

3,135

N/A

3,895

 

Total

1,698,510

1,422,302

1,562,755

1,159,506

669,106

6,512,178

 

 

Table 4 – Reconstruction Value of Properties at Risk by State

 

 

Rank

State

Extreme

Very High

High

Moderate

Low

Total

1

Florida

$165,897,104,806

$87,833,392,383

$100,149,415,929

$66,285,325,433

$70,238,414,826

$490,403,653,377

2

New York

$52,507,586,381

$44,946,290,850

$49,330,325,343

$35,690,092,121

N/A

$182,474,294,695

3

Louisiana

$32,093,743,120

$20,863,168,290

$60,324,715,609

$30,195,498,766

$17,585,341,597

$161,062,467,382

4

New Jersey

$35,481,183,707

$52,757,497,109

$22,040,754,156

$23,915,528,342

N/A

$134,194,963,314

5

Virginia

$21,841,973,286

$24,727,761,843

$21,125,036,730

$17,984,142,912

$6,322,567,446

$92,001,482,217

6

Texas

$7,087,911,852

$10,934,862,299

$19,093,100,616

$21,596,543,413

$17,844,003,459

$76,556,421,639

7

South Carolina

$27,753,414,114

$12,587,049,770

$13,178,862,500

$9,042,760,201

$5,714,959,963

$68,277,046,548

8

Massachusetts

$9,724,029,035

$17,005,251,525

$21,270,736,012

$14,998,153,704

N/A

$62,998,170,276

9

North Carolina

$15,240,651,298

$11,140,071,525

$10,815,898,891

$8,527,781,798

$7,845,320,710

$53,569,724,222

10

Maryland

$11,856,448,820

$9,687,832,004

$6,433,018,198

$6,846,887,233

N/A

$34,824,186,255

11

Connecticut

$8,972,737,674

$8,000,267,149

$7,249,691,647

$8,755,618,092

N/A

$32,978,314,562

12

Georgia

$10,073,078,318

$9,827,457,212

$4,910,948,595

$3,312,344,274

$1,359,659,962

$29,483,488,361

13

Mississippi

$2,909,086,132

$3,848,632,388

$5,094,422,106

$4,498,942,887

$1,793,435,179

$18,144,518,692

14

Pennsylvania

$321,556,789

$5,809,547,530

$6,184,854,639

$4,806,610,676

N/A

$17,122,569,634

15

Delaware

$3,714,154,308

$3,297,365,039

$4,157,600,924

$3,836,711,320

N/A

$15,005,831,591

16

Alabama

$1,294,626,444

$2,345,175,836

$1,824,810,598

$2,561,638,760

$2,307,058,822

$10,333,310,460

17

Rhode Island

$1,704,012,530

$1,755,100,803

$1,932,489,875

$1,997,781,668

N/A

$7,389,384,876

18

Maine

$1,404,632,358

$820,799,901

$2,195,324,309

$2,209,099,801

N/A

$6,629,856,369

19

New Hampshire

$433,205,114

$677,219,225

$972,432,591

$566,229,364

N/A

$2,649,086,294

20

District of Columbia

N/A

117,089

$101,614,077

$292,706,007

N/A

$394,437,173

 

Total

$410,311,136,086

$328,864,859,770

$358,386,053,345

$267,920,396,772

$131,010,761,964

$1,496,493,207,937

 

Table 5 – Storm Surge Risk for Top 15 Metro Areas

 

Rank

Metropolitan Area

Total Properties Potentially Affected by All Categories of Hurricane

Total Reconstruction Value

1

New York, NY

687,412

$251,038,846,466

2

Miami, FL

562,410

$103,160,570,812

3

Tampa, FL

444,765

$79,149,326,645

4

Virginia Beach, NC

394,705

$87,178,838,156

5

New Orleans, LA

381,149

$85,679,653,561

6

Cape Coral, FL

299,508

$60,430,683,073

7

Bradenton, FL

227,821

$42,955,130,837

8

Houston, TX

216,880

$41,903,647,756

9

Philadelphia, PA

213,668

$42,204,432,570

10

Naples, FL

177,651

$41,259,312,520

11

Jacksonville, FL

174,180

$36,509,802,458

12

Boston, MA

169,102

$46,713,411,965

13

Charleston, SC

108,045

$27,880,315,028

14

Lafayette, LA

106,166

$21,266,042,348

15

Myrtle Beach, NC

104,707

$19,373,709,040

 

Total

4,268,169

$986,703,723,235

 

 

 

 

Table 6 – Storm Surge Inundation vs. Freshwater Flooding for Select Major Metro Areas*

 

CBSA

Total Homes Exposed to Flood or Surge Inundation

Total Homes in Both a SFHA and a Surge Zone

% of Homes in Both a SFHA and a Surge Zone

Total Homes Located Only in a FEMA SFHA

% of Homes Located Only in a FEMA SFHA

Total Homes Located Only in a Surge Zone

% of Homes Located Only in a Surge Zone

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

395,584

55,115

13.9%

879

0.2%

339,590

86%

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

230,074

17,775

7.7%

16,406

7.1%

195,893

85%

Jacksonville, FL

187,861

30,653

16.3%

13,681

7.3%

143,527

76%

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

187,801

29,936

15.9%

18,699

10.0%

139,166

74%

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

113,172

19,857

17.5%

10,858

9.6%

82,457

73%

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

725,020

192,202

26.5%

37,608

5.2%

495,210

68%

North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

230,344

83,795

36.4%

2,523

1.1%

144,026

63%

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

25,462

3,788

14.9%

7,225

28.4%

14,449

57%

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

300,988

140,736

46.8%

1,480

0.5%

158,772

53%

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

481,525

197,875

41.1%

36,760

7.6%

246,890

51%

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

338,090

51,114

15.1%

121,210

35.9%

165,766

49%

Baton Rouge, LA

127,719

29,864

23.4%

37,228

29.1%

60,627

48%

New Orleans-Metairie, LA

383,991

211,871

55.2%

2,842

0.7%

169,278

44%

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL

180,489

104,514

57.9%

2,838

1.6%

73,137

41%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

1,191,134

356,400

29.9%

628,724

52.8%

206,010

17%

*Additional CBSA data, market rankings, regional, state and local-level maps are available upon request.

Methodology

The data used for the 2014 CoreLogic storm surge analysis to determine the number of homes at risk of storm surge inundation, as well as the estimated reconstruction value of these residential structures, has been expanded. Data for 10 additional categories under the single-family residence classification has been added to include mobile homes, duplexes, cabins and manufactured homes, among others. These new categories, which were not previously captured, allow for an improved and more complete database, and thus account for the increase in the number of single-family residences identified as at risk. 

In addition, the estimation of property values CoreLogic uses for single-family residences now includes Marshall & Swift/Boeckh™ (MSB) reconstruction valuation data. CoreLogic acquired MSB in late March 2014, and new valuations in this report are derived from the MSB reconstruction cost estimates rather than market valuation data. Reconstruction cost estimates more accurately reflect the actual cost of damage or destruction of residential buildings that would occur from hurricane-driven storm surge since they include the cost of materials and labor needed to rebuild, and also factor in geographical pricing differences. Actual land values are not included in the estimates. The values are based on 100-percent or total destruction of the residential structure. Depending upon the amount of surge water from a given storm, there may be less than 100 percent damage to the residence, which would result in a lower realized reconstruction cost. In the event that reconstruction costs were not available, CoreLogic Reconstruction Cost Industry Benchmark averages were used to calculate property-level values.

The updated data CoreLogic used to determine the number of homes located in storm surge risk areas and their associated values is intended to provide a more complete and accurate interpretation of the threat of hurricane-driven flooding across the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts of the U.S. While the number of homes and values can regularly fluctuate, this more broadly defined and comprehensive data accurately represents potential damage posed by storm surge.

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