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Natural hazard risks ‘low’ for Central Pa. real estate

Home sales rising in U.S. counties with low risks, prices higher in risky areas

Tornadoes, hail and flooding are the biggest natural hazards facing homes in the midstate, but the overall risk is still pretty low here, a factor that helps sell more houses, according to California-based ATTOM Data Solutions, the parent company of research firm RealtyTrac.

ATTOM found that U.S. home sales increase twice as fast in counties with low risks from natural hazard, while high-risk areas maintain higher property values.

The average estimated market value for homes in the lowest-risk counties was $187,291, which was more than 30 percent lower than for homes in the highest-risk counties.

Here’s the U.S. risk map.

Local counties with the lowest risk for natural disasters, according to the company’s annual housing risk index, are Cumberland and Lebanon. Those counties were deemed “very low” risk, while Dauphin, Lancaster and York fell into the “low” risk category.

Sales were up in all five counties through the first six months of the year compared with the same period last year, according to ATTOM. Average estimated values ranged from $149,361 in Dauphin County to $197,503 in Cumberland County.

ATTOM looked at more than 800 counties and six natural hazard categories: earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surge, tornadoes and wildfires.

Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties were found to be at a high risk for tornadoes. Hail also is a high risk for Lancaster County.

All five counties are in the “very low” risk category for hurricanes and wildfires, according to ATTOM.

2016 Natural Hazard Housing Risk Heat Map

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