The fact of the matter is that Glenview homes aren’t worth today what they were on September 8. That’s because some house hunters who might have considered buying in the Glenview neighborhood before the fire will now fear that the neigborhood is unsafe. Others, in light of all the pain the neighborhood has experienced, will simply prefer to buy elsewhere.
In real estate terms, the explosion and fire has "stigmatized" the neighborhood. Stigma always depresses home values. Values will drop even more when some Glenview residents, unable to become once again comfortable in their homes, are forced to move out and to sell almost regardless of the price they get.
The homes’ diminution in value represents a significant economic loss to Glenview residents. The loss may be difficult to quantify, but it doesn’t make it any less real. Even those homeowners who decide not to sell will be affected when, for example, they try to refinance or borrow against their properties.
A home need not have burned to be “damaged” by the fire. Whether Glenview residents decide to keep their homes or to sell, they have all suffered a loss. They are all deserving of compensation.