South Florida is getting worried about the impact of rising sea levels on housing, Bloomberg reported. Sea levels have risen 4 inches since 1992 and could climb another 3 feet by 2060. Zillow estimates that 934,000 Florida properties are at risk of being (literally) underwater by 2100.
- Coral Gables, FL, Mayor Jim Cason said that when the water level rises to a point that boats can’t clear the city’s many bridges, property values will begin to drop. That will set off a domino effect, starting with fewer mortgages approved for homes on the coast, decreasing the tax base and reducing the ability for the city to provide services.
Some homeowners are selling early, even if they would prefer not to, out of concern that increasing fears about sea-level rise will spark a sell-off down the road, decreasing property values.
When it comes to sea-level rise estimates, Florida is in a particularly precarious position: According to Zillow, the state accounts for more than half of the almost 2 million U.S. homes that could be underwater by the year 2100 if the predictions by climate scientists come to fruition. That’s one in eight homes in the state at a total value of $412.6 billion.
Beyond Florida, the Zillow analysis found that 300 cities would lose half or more of their housing stock by 2100; 36 coastal cities could be completely submerged.
Tidal flooding in South Florida is already worsening. In the U.S. overall, flooding is the country’s most common natural disaster, The New York Times reported, a fact that is throwing national flood insurance protection into a tailspin.
California is also starting to feel the impact of increased flooding during storms, according to a report from the California Ocean Protection Council. In San Francisco, developers of waterfront properties aren’t always addressing sea level rise, but those that are often find adaptation to be pricey.