The real estate market has begun to recover, with the price of new housing units on the rise and the price for new homes on the decline in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The housing market gained $1.4 billion in the first three months of the year, according to data released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors, which tracks real estate and rental market statistics.
That’s a more than 50% increase from a year ago, the NAR said.
But the recovery from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria has yet to reach the level of other major disasters, such as the 2011 Great Storms in the Northeast and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
“I don’t see a huge increase in the housing market as a result of the hurricanes,” said David Hirsch, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
“The recovery is more gradual.”
A majority of U.S. cities were hit hard by the storms, including Houston, where more than half of all housing units were damaged or destroyed.
The storm knocked out power, shut down schools and forced residents to seek shelter in hotels.
The Houston area had the highest median income in the U.N. data set, according.
“It’s a pretty good sign that the housing recovery is beginning,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
“But that’s not a reason to jump to conclusions.”
Zandi said that while he would expect prices to rise in the next few months, they will likely lag behind some other major economic trends.
The median home price in Texas hit a new record high of $1,865,000 in June, according the Houston Chronicle.
The average price in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area reached $1