Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said its preliminary assessment of potential mortgage-related impact from Hurricane Irma shows more than 3.1 million mortgaged properties in Irma disaster areas, representing $517 billion in unpaid principal balances.
Black Knight said Irma-related disaster areas contain nearly three times as many mortgaged properties as those connected to Hurricane Harvey and nearly seven times as many as those connected to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The $517 billion in unpaid principal balances in Irma-related disaster areas is nearly three times the amount as in those related to Harvey and more than 11 times of those connected to Katrina.
Black Knight Data & Analytics Executive Vice President Ben Graboske said the Irma-related disaster areas now include more than 90 percent of all mortgaged properties in Florida.
“While the total extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma is still being determined, it is clear that the size and scope of the disaster is immense,” Graboske said.
By comparison, Harvey-related disaster areas held 1.18 million properties–more than twice as many as with Hurricane Katrina in 2005–with a combined unpaid principal balance of $179 billion.
Irma was one of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history, reaching Category 5 with 185 mile-per-hour winds, devastating a number of Caribbean islands before striking Florida on Sept. 10. More than 80 deaths were directly attributed to Irma, including 39 in the U.S.
Graboske noted one relatively positive development was that Puerto Rico escaped the direct hit many had predicted. “From a mortgage performance perspective, this was particularly good news, as delinquencies there were already quite high leading up to the storm,” he said. “At more than 10 percent, Puerto Rico’s delinquency rate is nearly three times that of the U.S. average, as is its 5.8 percent serious delinquency rate. In contrast, the disaster areas declared in Florida have starting delinquency rates below the national average, providing more than a glimmer of optimism as we move forward.”