Many Shore buyers today seem unaware or unconcerned about the risk of future storms. Fewer than half in flood hazard zones have insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, according to Milliman, an actuarial company based in Chester County that consults with NFIP.
“People have been bidding up the prices of coastal housing for a long time,” said Clinton Andrews, associate dean for research in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, who has studied Sandy’s impact on real estate markets.
The lure of the Shore, he said, “swamps the risk discount you might otherwise apply.”
“We have seen a huge amount of reinvestment in the Shore,” Andrews said. “We have more in harm’s way than we did before Sandy.”
Basic information about whether a property has been in a flood zone was frequently left blank in both real estate listings and in the N.J. tax assessment data base, he said.
If newcomers are worried about Sandy’s devastation, they don’t show it. They are, overall, better equipped financially to deal with the risk than the people they replaced.
Andrews says the real estate market rebounded quickly.
“Within about three years after Sandy, the market had bounced back to where it was,” he said. “The market forgets pretty quickly.”