Up to 43,000 apartments in metro Houston were knocked out of operation due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey. That tally represents about 6% of the nation’s fourth-largest apartment market.
Flooding damage extends across many neighborhoods as a result of the rainfall in Houston, reported now by the National Weather Service at a U.S. record of more than 64 inches. Many of Houston’s apartment properties lie in or near 100-year flood plains, as the metro’s landscape is very flat.
Western Neighborhoods Take Sizable Hits
Still, it’s easy to see some clusters of damage, especially around the Barker and Addicks dams at the western edge of the city of Houston. The Barker and Addicks reservoirs, established in the 1940s to lessen flooding risk in downtown Houston, are normally dry lake beds. However, they fill with water when rains are heavy, and dam gates had to be opened at times as water threatened to overwhelm the reservoirs during the six-day storm.
In what RealPage calls the Far West Houston submarket, immediately downstream from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs, apartment product now off line appears to reach more than 4,700 units, the most in any neighborhood. Significant damage is reported for about 15% of the submarket’s big block of some 30,900 apartments.
Other west side neighborhoods where meaningful blocks of apartment product are non-operational include Gulfton/Westbury, Bear Creek/Katy and Alief.
Damage Registers to the North, Too
Moderate numbers of apartments are damaged across multiple neighborhoods on Houston’s north side. With just over 3,000 units off line, Spring/Tomball’s impacted apartments account for 21% of the existing stock, the largest share across any neighborhood. There’s also damage in neighboring Humble/Kingwood and North Central Houston, which includes the Greenspoint area.
Moving just a little farther northward, however, all of the properties in The Woodlands submarket, a key business center for metro Houston, appear to be functioning fully.
What About the Urban Core?
Research points to some 1,300 to 1,400 non-operational apartments in Downtown/Montrose/River Oaks, about 7% of the submarket’s inventory. Among the other comparatively urbanized portions of the metro, bigger blocks of product are off line in the Galleria/Uptown submarket and the Greater Heights/Washington Avenue area.
Some urban spots don’t appear to have suffered significant damage. No apartments have been identified as off line in the Greenway/Upper Kirby or West University/Medical Center neighborhoods.
About the Statistics
RealPage reached out to operators of about 1,700 apartment properties located in portions of Texas where Hurricane Harvey caused the heaviest damage. Where possible, operators of impacted properties provided information on the specific numbers of apartments taken off line. If operators reported damage but were unable to pin down the number of units impacted, it was assumed that first-floor apartments are off line.