Florida Sees Signals of a Climate-Driven Housing Crisis

October 12, 2020 ☼ climate

Source: The New York Times - Link

Home sales in areas most vulnerable to sea-level rise began falling around 2013, researchers found. Now, prices are following a similar downward path.

The idea that climate change will eventually ruin the value of coastal homes is neither new nor particularly controversial. In 2016, the then-chief economist for the federal mortgage giant Freddie Mac warned that rising seas “appear likely to destroy billions of dollars in property and to displace millions of people.” By 2045, more than 300,000 existing coastal homes will be at risk of flooding regularly, the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2018.

The article goes on to quote several mayors and real estate agents, i.e. those with skin in keeping prices up, as being skeptical, attributing price declines to other issues like federal regulation on foreign investment. However, the data do not bear this rosy picture out.

My concern is that who salvages properties that are abandoned and unlivable? Who cleans up the mess? What do we do with the resulting migration? Not all of these properties are owned by billionaires.