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Zillow: Rising Seas Threaten Nearly $1 Trillion Worth Of US Homes

Zillow: Rising Seas Threaten Nearly $1 Trillion Worth Of US Homes
Marilyn Gould | Dreamstime

Thursday, 19 October 2017 01:30 PM

Nearly $1 trillion worth of coastal homes reportedly are threatened by the prospect of rising sea levels.

More than $900 billion worth of U.S. residential real estate could be lost by a 6-foot rise in sea levels, CNBC reported, citing a new Zillow  report as saying.

Such a rise in water levels, projected to become a reality by 2100, could destroy nearly 2 million homes.

"Living near the water is incredibly appealing for people around the country, but it also comes with additional considerations for buyers and homeowners," Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell wrote in the report. "Homes in low-lying areas are also more susceptible to storm flooding and these risks could be realized on a much shorter timeline as we have seen time and time again."

Zillow found that 39 percent of homes expected to be underwater by the year 2100 are in the most valuable category. The rest are around the median price, about $220,000, or below, CNBC explained.

"We've seen the enormous impact flooding can have on a city and its residents," said Gudell. "It's harder for us to think about it on a long-term timeline, but the real risks that come with rising sea levels should not be ignored until it's too late to address them."

To be sure, disaster-prone countries that keep rebuilding homes, roads and utilities are in danger of becoming uninsurable unless their new infrastructure is built to survive further catastrophe, experts said at a recent World Bank conference.

New construction must be low in carbon emissions and built on safe land at less risk of destruction as extreme weather intensifies under global warming, they said.

More infrastructure is about to be built in the next 20 years than was built in the past 2,000 years, said experts at the World Bank conference on infrastructure and resilience held in Washington, D.C.

The total cost of that infrastructure is seen at some $5 trillion a year, Reuters reported.

“The expense of a constant construct, reconstruct, reconstruct, frankly, no country can afford,” said Christiana Figueres, former United Nations’ climate chief.

“Because we know we will be getting more of these effects, we cannot let ourselves get to a scenario where we are systemically uninsurable,” said Figueres.

Among recent disaster losses, no more than half were covered by insurance, she said.

Extreme weather such as flooding, severe storms and drought is increasing with global warming, experts say.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump in August rolled back rules regarding environmental reviews and restrictions on government-funded building projects in flood-prone areas as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure, Reuters reported.

Trump’s latest executive order would speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges, pipelines and other major building efforts. It revokes an Obama-era executive order aimed at reducing exposure to flooding, sea level rise and other consequences of climate change.

Trump promised in his election campaign to press for widespread deregulation to spur business spending. The former New York real state developer has complained that it takes too long to get permits for big construction projects.

Business groups praised the streamlining of regulations, while environmental groups and others criticized the order, saying it would lead to riskier projects, waste taxpayer dollars and result in a “climate catastrophe.”

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Nearly $1 trillion worth of coastal homes reportedly are threatened by the prospect of rising sea levels.
zillow, rising, seas, homes, flood
Thursday, 19 October 2017 01:30 PM
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