The Most Toxic Real Estate Markets In The Country

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April 21, 2016

Just because a place may look clean and beautiful, doesn’t mean it is. In fact, it can be just the opposite. Take Los Angeles, Long beach, and Anaheim, for example. Beautiful blue skies and beaches make the area aesthetically pleasing, but as MarketWatch reports, the aesthetics are only skin deep.

The Los Angeles, Long beach, and Anaheim real estate market is the most polluted housing market in the U.S., with 321 zip codes having high or very high levels of exposure to unhealthy air, polluted land or water, and even dangerous drug labs, according to research conducted by RealtyTrac.

Second on this unfortunate list to be on was the real estate market of Chicago, Naperville, and Elgin, Ill. Here, there were 280 zip codes (93 percent) that had high exposure to toxins and pollutants. The Detroit, Dearborn, and Warren markets in Michigan came in third with 162 zip codes having high or very high levels.

Throughout the country there are about 25 million homes in zip codes at high or very high risk for manmade environmental hazards. The combined estimated market value for these homes was $6.9 trillion as of November 2015.

These manmade environmental risks significantly lower real estate valuations. The median sales price for a home in high-risk zip codes was $251,106 in 2015, 15 percent lower than the median sales price for homes in low or very low risk zip codes of $295,202. Over the past 10 years, home appreciation has also been slower in high-risk zip codes compared to low risk zip codes.

After a gas leak was discovered in October 2015 at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility releasing over 97,000 metric tons of methane into the air, home sales dropped 44 percent in the Porter Ranch zip code over the next three months. Additionally, in the three months following the discovery of the leak, the median home price dropped 1 percent after increasing over 30 percent since 2012.

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