The impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, whose real estate market has been more than hard hit, is almost startling by this chart. The impact of Irma is yet to be seen since she made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10 before continuing up the west coast of Florida and heading inland. But widespread preparation and evacuations in Florida reduced mortgage applications by more than 25 percent before the hurricane arrived as business ground to a halt. When you are running for your life, you tend to forget about things like house closings.
Harvey was unprecedented in its rainfall for the coast of Texas and caused flooding that affected up to 30 percent of the state’s population. As one Houstonian whose property was unscathed told me, “everyone in Houston knows someone who was affected.” The effect on our real estate market, too, will be unprecedented, though possibly less in Houston than Florida.