Rising Sea Levels Threaten Coastal Properties

Posted On October 25, 2017

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This year’s particularly active hurricane season brought to light the issues with coastal communities.  Coastal dwelling is not just limited to luxury homeowners.  Many homes along the coasts of the Southeastern United States, and along coastlines across the country, fall into the median or low-cost price ranges.  However, rising sea levels threaten many coastal and even inland properties. 

According to a recent report by Zillow, many of these homes are in danger of flooding.  The report states that a six-foot rise in sea levels has the potential to endanger 1.9 million homes, a $916 billion value of US residential real estate.  Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell explained, “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.”

Hurricane and storm-related damage is not limited to homes directly beside coasts. For example, many of the homes submerged by Hurricane Harvey floodwaters were further inland, far drives from the coastline.  This flooding was due in part to storm surges filling rivers and reservoirs over capacity.  

Among the top ten metros at the greatest risk of rising floodwaters are five cities across the state of Florida plus Boston, MA, Upper Township, NJ, Salisbury MD, New York, NY, and Virginia Beach, VA.  Many of these at-risk cities are already investing in defense systems like flood walls to combat against rising tides.  For example, Miami Beach, FL has implemented a massive pump system and lower Manhattan is surrounded by a 10-foot steel and concrete wall. 


Sources: CNBC, Zillow