BP Oil Spill Could Lower Gulf Coast Home Prices By $56,000

The impact of BP's (BP) Gulf of Mexico oil spill may lower the value of coastal homes in the area by as much as $56,000 each, Bloomberg News reported. The decline in property values could total $3 billion over five years, Bloomberg reported, citing real estate data company CoreLogic. The BP oil spill could wipe out the premium that buyers normally pay to be near the ocean.

"It's not only about whether the oil arrives," Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist, told Bloomberg. "There's evidence something as catastrophic as this scares people away.

The worst hit areas will likely be in Gulfport, Miss., Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla. More than 600,000 properties could be affected in total.

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