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Zillow – Climate Change and Homes: Who Would Lose the Most to a Rising Tide?

From an article by Lauren Bretz, October 18, 2017:

  • One-third (32 percent) of underwater homes would be valued in the bottom third nationally, meaning $123 billion in losses.
  • Two in five (39 percent) underwater homes would be valued in the top third nationally, translating to $597 billion in lost high-end real estate.
  • In rural and suburban areas, homes in the top value tier may face particular risk, while in urban areas homes in the bottom value tier are more likely to be affected.

While the damage caused by recent hurricanes is a devastating reminder of how quickly the weather can undo people’s lives and destroy their homes, the potential for damage from a slower-moving phenomenon could be even more destructive: Rising sea levels. Building on our 2016 analysis of the impact a rising tide could have on U.S. homes, we looked again at how many homes might be underwater by the end of the century — and whether those homes are in the top, middle or bottom tier in their areas. We also calculated the share in urban, suburban and rural areas. Nationally, 1.9 million homes are projected to be literally underwater by the year 2100 if the oceans rise six feet – roughly midway between the high end of what the government (considered a conservative source) says is “very likely” (4.3 feet) and the possibility of an 8-foot or greater rise than “cannot be excluded.” That accounts for 1.8 percent of the country’s total housing stock with a value of $916 billion, up from $882 billion in 2016. (To be clear, sea levels are not expected to rise uniformly, but we chose a midpoint rather than differentiating sea level predictions for different coastal areas.)…”

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