Sea level rise could put nearly 1.9 million U.S. homes underwater (topographically, not financially) by 2100, leading to US$882 billion in losses, according to an analysis by real estate data firm Zillow.
“More than 100,000 of those homes would be in Maryland and Virginia, according to the analysis,” the Washington Post reports. “Another 140,000 would be submerged in the Carolinas. And Florida would face the gravest scenario of any state, with one in eight properties in danger of being underwater.”
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Rapid greenhouse gas reductions in the next few decades could limit sea level rise to about two feet, and “constructed barriers and flood-prevention efforts would help minimize the risk in some areas,” the Post notes. But scientists are nearly unanimous that some impacts are inevitable, and both insurers and cities are taking note.
“Based on our calculations, it may turn out that actual water poses almost as much of a problem for the housing market in the future as negative equity has in the past,” wrote Zillow’s director of economic product and research, Krishna Rao.
The Post lists Florida, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and California as the states at highest risk. The article includes maps of projected sea level rise for Miami—where nearly one-third of the housing stock could be at risk—as well as Boston and Honolulu.
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