When you buy a home, whether it’s a new home or an older home, you expect that any potential problems will be disclosed to you as is the law. Either way, not too many people take the time to conduct much research into any possible hazards in the area of their new home.
According to the Environmental Hazards Housing Risk Index which is produced by ATTOM Data Solutions, 17.3 million single family homes and condos with a combined estimated market value of $4.9 trillion are in zip codes with high or very high risk for at least one of four environmental hazards: Superfunds, brownfields, polluters or poor air quality.
The 17.3 million represents high risk homes represent around 25% of all the homes analyzed. As one would deduce, home values are higher and long term appreciation remains stronger in areas that aren’t found to be in an environmental high risk zone.
It is important to note that conversely and seemingly counterintuitively home price appreciation over the past five years was actually stronger in the higher-risk zip codes. This could be attributed to investors who are less likely to live in these areas and are therefore less influenced by these reports.
So where are these environmentally hazard zip codes? Well the short list is the zip codes with the 10 highest environmental hazard index. These zip codes are in Denver Colorado, Niagara Falls New York, San Bernardino California, Santa Fe Springs California, Fresno California, Mira Loma, California, Curtis Bay Maryland, Saint Louis Missouri, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Tampa, Florida.
While this kind of report may sound alarming, there are areas such as those in high air pollution areas where the actual risk varies from day to day. Other areas may be designated environmentally hazardous do to materials that need to be cleaned up. These statistics can for the most part be changed over time as more of these issues are dealt with.