Real estate, mortgage industry reacts to Hurricane Harvey

by Steve Randall29 Aug 2017
The real estate and mortgage industries have been quick to react to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey which continues to pound parts of Texas.

Data from CoreLogic shows that between $1 billion and $2 billion of insured property losses are estimated.

The firm's analysis also shows that more than 50% of properties in Houston are at high or moderate risk of flood but not in FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Areas. They are therefore not required to carry flood insurance.

The HUD has announced disaster assistance for victims of the hurricane. The measures include a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages. It will also make insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation.

Mortgage lenders have taken action to help homeowners including waving or refunding certain fees for late payments. Lenders including JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are also donating funds to support relief efforts with each donating $1 million.

Institutional property owners say it will take some time to assess the damage to their properties.
Pure Multi-Family REIT says that its thoughts are with those affected and its first priority is to check on the safety and security of staff and residents.

That sentiment is shared by American Homes 4 Rent which owns approximately 3200 houses in the Houston market area.

"As storms continue in Houston and other areas in southern Texas, the primary concern of American Homes 4 Rent is the safety and welfare of our residents and employees," stated David Singelyn, American Homes 4 Rent's Chief Executive Officer.

"Our response teams are currently assessing the extent of damage but are hindered by continuing storms and difficulty getting into the affected areas. Our assessment will be ongoing for several days," he said.

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