A six-foot rise in sea levels could result in the loss of $900 billion worth of U.S. residential real estate. Coastal homes are threatened by the prospect of rising sea levels, projected to be a reality by 2100, could destroy nearly 2 million homes.
Zillow, a leading real estate and rental marketplace, studied what kinds of homes would be flooded. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist stated, “Living near the water is incredibly appealing for people around the country, but it also comes with additional considerations for buyers and homeowners…Homes in low-lying areas are…more susceptible to storm flooding and these risks could be realized on a much shorter timeline as we have seen time and time again.”
By 2100, an estimated 29% of homes in the highly valuable category are expected to be underwater, with the rest of the homes listed around the median price of $220,000 or lower. Only 25% are among the least valuable homes. Making matters worse is that lower-priced homes are owned by families unlikely to have the resources to take preventative measures against the rising tides. These measures include putting in sea walls or making changes to foundations that could withstand intermittent flooding.
The majority of homes that are at risk of flooding are in suburban areas, and calculate at an astonishing 65%, with just under 23% in urban locations, and just 12% in rural locations.