SANTA FE, N.M. -- Office of Cerro Grande Fire Claims (OCGFC) officials have released the final report evaluating the loss of residential property value in Los Alamos County following the Cerro Grande Fire in May, 2000.
The independent analysis of the post-fire residential real estate market was commissioned by OCGFC officials and conducted by the consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The final report shows that after the fire, the average sale price of single-family homes in Los Alamos County declined between 3 percent and 11 percent.
"Anyone who owned a home in Los Alamos prior to the fire and thinks they have suffered diminution(loss) of property value can make a claim for compensatory damages through our office," said Don Erbach, OCGFC Director. Such a claim is initiated by filing a notice of loss, which can be obtained by telephone or in person at an Office of Cerro Grande Fire Claims service center.
Based on the study, OCGFC is now developing policy that includes a mechanism by which both realized and unrealized property losses can be evaluated, Erbach explained. Continuing analysis of the housing market will be made until the real estate market returns to price levels that would have prevailed without the fire, or until the second quarter of 2002, whichever is sooner.
A draft of the report was presented at a February 7, 2001 town meeting in Los Alamos. Comments were taken from those affected by the fire at that meeting and also by electronic mail. After considering public comments, PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted additional research. From that information, the report was more fully developed.
Those who wish to read the entire PricewaterhouseCoopers report can obtain a copy at the OCGFC services centers in Los Alamos and White Rock. The policy related to diminution of Los Alamos property value will be posted on the same site on Monday, April 2.