Will The Pleasant Grove, Alabama Tornadoes Have an Impact On Property Values?

I was in Pleasant Grove, Alabama yesterday working on an appraisal for an insurance company.  Everybody says that the pictures you see on television do not do justice to the magnitude of destruction these tornadoes caused, and I agree.  Homes were ripped from their foundations and trees were uprooted as the massive tornado made its way across the state.

Over the years this area has been subject to other storms, enough to make you think twice about continuing to live here.  I’ve heard people say that they will not rebuild.  They will move away because it is not worth the risk of it happening again.  This event was life changing and people will be using the 2011 tornadoes as a reference point in their lives.  Families will be forever changed.

As I drove through the neighborhoods and saw “For Sale” signs, it made me wonder how long it would take to sell these homes that were still standing,and when they do sell will they have to be reduced to a very low price to entice people to live here?  Will this area be subject to a “storm track stigma”?.  It seems reasonable to assume that only time will tell.  Clean up efforts will take time, and then sales and resales will take longer.  I will keep up with the area to see what happens to the price trends and report them along the way.  Have you studied the property value trends in areas affected by natural disaster?  What did you see?  If you woulld like to help with recovery efforts in the Alabama area please consider volunteering or donating.  You can do that through the Christian Service Mission.

If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on facebook.


  1. Scott Austin, IFA says

    I wondered the same thing. Here are some additional questions that crossed my mind.

    Will the tornado destruction effectively create (or increase) demand, as many listed houses (supply) were destroyed.

    Most every house which was occupied prior to destruction by the storm represents a degree of existing need for housing. But what was the prior dmand vs the new demand?

    As land prices go, so goes the overall price for housing. There are now more vacant lots which can be built upon which already have infrastructure such as sewer, roads, water. Will these lots now diminish the value of existing lots for sale?

    • Great questions Scott. I believe it will take a little bit of time to see the long term effects of the tornadoes. I have to believe that short term there will be shift in demand with Pleasant Grove seeing a decline and other areas an increase. I recently saw a map that showed the pathes of recent tornadoes in Alabama and that area has been in the path quite a few times. That has to go through peoples minds: Do I spend money on my biggest investment and risk future storms or do I go to an area that is less prone to the storm path. I know I would certainly consider it. I am sure there will be others that have always lived in Pleasant Grove, and who will want to stay there. For them, the idea of buying a lot that has existing infrastructure may very well offer a more attractive deal that having to get it installed on a raw piece of land.

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