3.1 million mortgaged homes in Hurricane Irma disaster area

by Steve Randall19 Sep 2017
The number of mortgaged homes affected by Hurricane Irma is forecast to be far exceed those hit by Harvey or Katrina.

That’s the assessment of Black Knight Financial using preliminary data which shows over 3.1 million homes are in the FEMA-designated disaster areas for Hurricane Irma with $517 billion of unpaid principal balances.

The unpaid principal figure is almost three times that of Harvey and more than 11 times that of Katrina.

“While the total extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma is still being determined, it is clear that the size and scope of the disaster is immense,” said Black Knight Data & Analytics Executive Vice President Ben Graboske. “With FEMA expanding the number of Irma-related designated disaster areas late Wednesday, Sept. 13, to a total of 37 Florida counties, more than 90% of all mortgaged properties in the state now fall into such areas.”

He added that from a mortgage performance perspective, Irma’s path was not as impactful as it might have been. As the hurricane did not hit Puerto Rico as forcefully as was predicted, a further escalation of the island’s already-high mortgage delinquency rate was avoided.

“At more than 10%, Puerto Rico’s delinquency rate is nearly three times that of the U.S. average, as is its 5.8 percent serious delinquency rate. In contrast, the disaster areas declared in Florida have starting delinquency rates below the national average, providing more than a glimmer of optimism as we move forward,” said Graboske.

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