Hurricane Sandy Region Hottest Housing Market in Survey

A little more than a year after Hurricane Sandy struck Long Island, N.Y., resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and a rise in delinquencies, one firm's data see major improvements for this region.

As of January 2014, the Home Value Forecast from Pro Teck Valuation Services had Long Island—Nassau and Suffolk counties—as the hottest real estate market in the country.

Foreclosures account for less than 2.2% of sales on Long Island and available housing inventory is only 3.63 months, both attributes signaling a strong market.

"Looking at our extended forecast for the area, we see Nassau-Suffolk reaching peak highs again within five years," says Tom O'Grady, CEO of Pro Teck Valuation Services.

Besides Long Island, California accounts for six of the top 10 metropolitan statistical areas considered to be the strongest in January. In particular, sale prices in the Los Angeles market are up more than 24% from the last rolling quarter and homes on the open market fell by 34 days.

Conversely, while Long Island had less than 3% of its sales as foreclosures, Jacksonville, Fla., is experiencing 81.2% of its sales as foreclosures, according to the Waltham, Mass.-based real estate valuation company.

"Banks are the seller in more than four of every five homes purchased in Jacksonville," O'Grady said. "Looking at the five year forecast, Jacksonville's prices are not expected to get anywhere near its 2007 peak. Foreclosures will continue to hamper the market from returning to true market fundamentals for the foreseeable future."

In general, it's difficult to sustain a market turnaround with high numbers of foreclosure sales. All of Pro Teck's bottom 10 markets for January contain cities where foreclosure sales were over 25%, including Homosassa Springs, Fla.; Saginaw, Mich.; Mobile, Ala.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Port St. Lucie, Fla.; and Montgomery, Ala.

"Add to that bloated inventory numbers, months of remaining inventory up to 19 months, and it may be some time before we see the market recovering," O'Grady added.

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