- Climate research shows that sea levels could rise six feet by the year 2100, sinking two million homes.
- Scientific publication Nature says 36 cities will be completely underwater by the next century.
- In total, two million U.S. homes are expected to sink if the sea levels rise at the projected pace, the study says.
If climate change didn’t scare you before, the predicted and dramatic effects of melting ice sheets are not that far in the future. Climate research shows that sea levels could rise six feet by the year 2100, with a follow-up Zillow analysis saying it could impact $882 billion of U.S. housing stock.
The original study, published in scientific journal Nature, says 36 cities will be completely underwater by the next century, meaning nearly 300 cities would lose at least half of their housing stock.
In total, two million U.S. homes are expected to sink if the sea levels rise at the projected pace, the study says.
“As we move through this century, homeowners will have to consider another factor when it comes to their homes — whether rising sea levels have any impact on them,” Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in the report. “It’s easy to think about how the ocean levels can affect the coasts in an abstract sense, but this analysis shows the real impact it will have on nearly two million homeowners — and most likely more by the time we reach 2100 — who could lose their homes.”
Homes in tropical climates at underwater risk
Given its coastal borders sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, one in eight Florida homes are predicted to sink, accoridng to Zillow. Lost homes in the Sunshine State would account for nearly half of the predicted total value loss of $882 billion.
In Hawaii, 9 percent of homes could be underwater due to climate change at the turn of the century, 81 percent of which are currently located in Honolulu.
Waterfront homes in the U.S. are valued 58 percent higher now but are at a higher risk of rising sea levels. In Maine, homes on the ocean are worth $436,798 – or three times the statewide median of $138,900. States that don’t value waterfront property higher than inland homes include Hawaii, Maryland, Washington and Oregon.
Fewer California homes impacted by climate change
In California, just 0.4 percent of the housing stock is at risk of being underwater from climate change. Zillow estimates rising sea levels will affect California homes with a combined worth of $49.2 billion and a median value of $891,269.
In Texas, the median value of 46,804 at-risk homes (0.6 percent) is $195,029. This would net a value loss of $12 billion.
Almost 100,000 homes in New York would be affected, the report says, or 2.1 percent of statewide homes, leading to a $71 billion loss.
In Maryland, 3.1 percent of homes are expected to be underwater at the turn of the century, resulting in a total state loss of almost $20 billion.