Homes in Environmental Hazard Zones

By | March 6, 2017

Millions of homes and condominiums are in high danger zones for environmental hazards, according to the Environmental Hazards Housing Risk Index, produced by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The report showed 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 homes and condos represent 25 percent of the 68.1 million single family homes and condos in the 8,642 zip codes analyzed, according to ATTOM, which manages one of the country’s largest property databases.

Researchers calculated a risk index for each of the four environmental hazards for each of the 8,642 zip codes, and then divided the indexes into five categories of risk: Very Low, Low, Moderate, High and Very High.

Home values are higher and long-term home price appreciation is stronger in zip codes without a high risk for any of the four environmental hazards analyzed.

Of the 8,642 zip codes analyzed, 6,238 with 50.8 million single family homes and condos (75 percent) worth a combined $16.9 trillion did not have a High or Very High risk index for any of the four environmental hazards.

“Home values are higher and long-term home price appreciation is stronger in zip codes without a high risk for any of the four environmental hazards analyzed,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Corresponding to that is a higher share of homes still seriously underwater in the zip codes with a high risk of at least one environmental hazard, indicating those areas have not regained as much of the home value lost during the downturn.”

A total environmental hazard index combining the four individual hazard indexes was also calculated for each of the 8,642 zip codes nationwide.

Zip codes with the 10 highest Total Environmental Hazard Index values were in Denver (80216); San Bernardino, Calif. (92408); Curtis Bay, Md. (21226 — in the Baltimore metro area); Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (90670 — in the Los Angeles metro area); Fresno, Calif. (93725); Niagara Falls, N.Y. (14303); Saint Louis, Mo. (63133); Mira Loma, Calif. (91752 — in the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area); Hamburg, Pa. (19526 — in the Reading metro area); and Tampa, Fla. (33619).

For the report, ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed 8,642 U.S. zip codes. A housing risk index was calculated for each of the four types of hazards. The maximum index value for each index was 250 and the minimum was 0.

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