The Potential Impact of an Anthrax Attack on Real Estate Prices and Foreclosures in Seattle

Publication Type: 
Noah Dormady
Thomas Szelazek
This article provides a methodology for the economic analysis of the potential consequences of a simulated anthrax terrorism attack on real estate within the Seattle metropolitan area. We estimate spatially disaggregated impacts on median sales price of residential housing within the Seattle metro area following an attack on the central business district (CBD). Using a combination of longitudinal panel regression and GIS analysis, we find that the median sales price in the CBD could decline by as much as $280,000, and by nearly $100,000 in nearby communities. These results indicate that total residential property values could decrease by over $50 billion for Seattle, or a 33% overall decline. We combine these estimates with HUD’s 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to further predict 70,000 foreclosures in Seattle spatial zones following the terrorism event.