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2017’s hurricane season emphasizes need for resilient property
In the past few weeks, Texas and Florida were hit by successive storms that brought staggering destruction. In the aftermaths of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the watchword is resilience. Storms of this magnitude — Harvey brought more than 50 inches of rain to parts of Houston, while Irma saw wind speeds of 180 miles per hour — could become more common as Earth’s climate changes, which means real estate investors need to be prepared to handle such events.
In Houston, heavy rains caused severe flooding even after Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm. Moody’s Investors Service has estimated the damage at $81 billion to $108 billion. Houston is the fourth-largest metro area in the country, with more than 6.7 million people, many of them newly moved to the fast-growing region.
The storm has given a sudden shock to the real estate market. Although Houston had seen soft property fundamentals the past few years, with high vacancy rates across property types, the lo