A group called First Street Foundation with help from some Columbia University data scientists has crunched some numbers and says that increased erosion and tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels, caused in turn by climate change, have trimmed $15.2 million off the value of New Hampshire coastal properties. From the report (which you can read here):
One of the region’s hardest hit homes, a triplex located on Marginal Street in Boston, currently valued at $373,725, would be worth more than double at $799,054 if not for increased tidal flooding due to sea level rise.
Other models have forecast the future impact of sea level rise flooding on coastal properties, but this is the first to demonstrate value loss that has already occurred. By taking into account characteristics associated with home value, such as square footage and proximity to amenities, and accounting for economic trends like the 2008 housing recession, the scientists were able to isolate the impact that increased frequent tidal flooding caused by sea level rise has had on home value.
Here’s a key point: The houses are NOT getting cheaper – it’s just that they’re not getting more expensive as quickly as they would have if the seas were stable, or so the group says.
While most of the affected homes did appreciate over the studied period, they did so at a significantly lower rate than comparable homes unaffected by tidal flooding. The research is also the first to find that in addition to direct property-lot flooding nearby road flooding also has a major impact on home value.
The group has created a Flood IQ database allows users to look up properties and get an estimate of how much greater the value would be if not for climate change.
It is, of course, no secret that rising sea levels will harm coastal property values, even though groups that have coastal investments don’t want to hear it. It’s easier for groups and people to take notice, however, if actual dollar signs are attached.