Over $2 Trillion Worth of Housing at Risk Amid California Wildfires

November 1, 2019
forest after wildfire
Photo by Jamie Hagan on Unsplash

California wildfires are not just currently destroying  lives and houses,  but also damaging the future of the state’s housing market. With housing shortages, high insurance premiums, and the threat of wildfires, residents are moving away from the area and future buyers are wary. 

California Redfin agents say this year’s relentless wildfires, along with sky-high insurance premiums and mandatory electricity shutdowns, are causing residents to move away from fire-prone areas and buyers to question purchasing homes in dangerous parts of the state. 

Four counties in California top the list of places at risk of losing the most housing value due to destruction from wildfires. Los Angeles County, home to more than $1.2 trillion worth of homes and one of the regions most susceptible to wildfires in the U.S., stands to lose the most housing value. Next come Orange County ($502.6 billion in total housing value), Santa Clara County ($488.5 billion) and San Diego County ($417.6 billion). 

Although the areas most at risk for wildfires–those that experienced more than 20 wildfires from 1960 through 2016–account for just 4 percent of all U.S. households, those homes account for 8.1 percent of total U.S. housing value, or $2 trillion worth of housing.

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