From the Washington Post:
Hurricane Sandy stretched from the central Appalachians well into New England when it came ashore nearly four years ago, tearing through thousands of homes and leaving more than $70 billion in damage in its wake. The storm, which left miles of shoreline buried in sand and killed 182 people, still ranks as the second-costliest in American history after Katrina.
Since then, coastal real estate markets pounded by the storm have mostly recovered, thanks in part to federal, state and local governments pouring billions of dollars into repairing and replacing much of its damaged coastline.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved millions of cubic yards of sand onto shoreline areas from New Jersey to Maine in an effort to fortify beachfront battered by the storm. The restoration and resiliency projects are part of the $51 billion relief package passed by Congress in the wake of the disaster.
Local home builders and developers are also again erecting new properties in many locations, including some beachfront communities that rank among the most expensive for real estate in the country. From seaside towns along the Connecticut coast and the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, to locations on the Jersey Shore and Far Rockaway in Queens, property values in many places are again rising and buyers returning, real estate data show.
In the wake of the storm, flood insurance premiums rose sharply, and many municipalities established tighter guidelines on how and where to build along the coast. The new building restrictions reflected rising sea levels and flood risk and followed federal emergency management standards in rebuilding homes to withstand future storms.
The tighter restrictions initially hampered the waterfront property market in more affluent areas, but nearly four years after Sandy some of the priciest coastline locations are now rebuilt and seeing sharp increases in property sales.
Along the New Jersey coast, counties hit hardest by Sandy are still grappling with closed streets, broken streetlights and unfinished boardwalks. The storm also wiped out thousands of homes, many of which haven’t been rebuilt.
The empty lots in working class shoreline communities such as Ocean and Monmouth counties are not only causing blight: With thousands of homes no longer there, the towns and school districts that count on the property taxes collected from these homes to fund their budget are still wrestling with shortfalls.