Five years after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, including New York City, the city’s five boroughs impacted by the storm are seeing new development, according to a report by StreetEasy.
The 2012 storm, the worst in the city’s history, caused catastrophic damage along the coast, and the storms could continue with sea level rise and climate change, officials say.
On Oct. 27, 2012, Sandy briefly weakened to a tropical storm and then re-strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on Oct. 29, 2012, Sandy curved west-northwest and then moved ashore near Brigantine, N.J., just to the northeast of Atlantic City, as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.
These details certainly are not scaring off any investors, the report indicated.
“The demand for new housing has proven stronger than the memory of Sandy’s destruction,” StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long said in the report, which noted an “explosion” of new buildings.
Red Hook, which saw its streets flooded with up to nine feet of water during the storm, has added 27 new residential buildings since 2012, the study found.
According to Chris Sheller, a broker with Corcoran who has lived in Red Hook for 15 years, buyers remain aware of Sandy, but it isn’t at the forefront for many.
“There are some people who will only look on Coffey Street, where I have a listing, because it did not flood there,” he said.
The neighborhood remains a draw for its proximity to Manhattan, and new transportation options such as the NYC Ferry help attract new buyers.
Belle Harbor, another community hit hard by Sandy, also took the top spot as the priciest in Queens in 2017 — despite redevelopment projects on the bay and oceanfront that are still incomplete.
The price rise came after a few years of real estate dropoffs on the coastal neighborhoods on the peninsula, which includes Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway.
Sandy hasn’t affected real estate costs in all of the neighborhoods it hit, like the Financial District, which didn’t see much of a dip in costs after the storm, according to the StreetEasy analysis.
And Howard Beach has recently seen its real estate costs plateau after a major increase in properties sold in 2013, the StreetEasy analysis found.
As real estate costs increase across the city, people continue to look toward the coast, in spite of the risks.
“[Buyers] always ask about the storm, but people moving along the coast, that’s part of the territory,” according to Bob Tracey, of Tracey Real Estate.
Tracy has offices in Gerritsen Beach and Breezy Point, which were both decimated by the storm. And yet the market’s at an “all time high.”
“Living along the coast has its benefits and its liabilities, and the benefits outweigh the possibility of a storm,” he said.