Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina and Housing Markets

I searched the net for awhile looking for articles about the impact of Katrina on housing markets. I probably didn't search very well, but the articles I found all emphasized the standard material:
After a hurricane, there is a massive increase in demand for building supplies as people try to rebuild their homes.
But that isn't what I was looking for.

Rather, I was interested in the impact that this massive flood of refugees will have on short-term housing prices throughout the southern US. The refugees will not be able to return to their homes for months, if ever. Many of them will find their homes destroyed or impossible to salvage. They will have to find alternative housing, and it cannot be at The Astrodome forever.

The upshot should be a huge increase in the demand for short-term and intermediate-term (whatever that means) housing.

Can agitation for rent controls be far behind?

Update: Also, see this at SCSU Scholars.

I mentioned yesterday that there doesn't appear to have been a housing shortage after the 1906 SF earthquake. Rick Brady, a city planner who's worked with FEMA on disaster housing criteria -- and whose scenario was a Category V hurricane in New Orleans -- works through how FEMA would look at the housing crisis John discusses. It will strike you as triage, but it has a market component.
King Banaian concludes that posting by addressing the accusations of "price-gouging" in the markets for building supplies. Good stuff.
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