Gulf Coast Real Estate Threatened by Oil Spill

Five years after the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, real estate players are predicting that BP's oil spill has the potential to hinder the Gulf Coast more severely than that epic storm.

"This will be 100 times worse," says Christine Weber, a real estate agent near Biloxi, Miss., who says she can already smell the fumes from her house five miles from shore. "It is not something that can be cleaned up like a hurricane, where you can replace a roof. You can't remove oil from the sand or the water."

Weber, looking back on the housing market following Hurricane Katrina, says the demand for homes had picked up, and the supply was low because of homes lost or damaged in the storm. But the impact from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a slick which is edging toward the Gulf Coast, could destroy wildlife, beachfront property, and healthy living conditions for the community for years.

"We won't have anything around here," she adds. "It will be desolate."