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USA Real Estate Blog

Homeowners Bracing for Climate Change

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Half of residents in major U.S. metro areas believe climate change will affect their homes or communities within their lifetime, according to a new report from Zillow. The Zillow Housing Housing Aspirations Report reveals that young adults and people who live in coastal metros are the most likely to anticipate their lives will be impacted by climate change.

The report states that around 62% of people ages 18 to 34 say their homes or communities will be affected either “somewhat” or “a great deal” in their lifetimes, compared with 51% of people ages 35 to 54, and only 39% of those 55 and older.

By city, Miami (61%), San Jose (59%) and Los Angeles (57%) were most likely to anticipate climate change impact, compared to St. Louis (40%), Detroit (43%) and Philadelphia (44%).

“This survey confirms that millions of Americans are sensitive to the risks associated with climate change and believe they will face them in their lifetimes,” said Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow. “Young adults are much more likely to recognize the reality of climate change-related risks to their homes and communities. Every month new evidence is brought to light about the risks ranging from rising temperatures to more frequent floods to wildfires, and people are hearing the message. Even across age groups and political lines, there is at least consensus that when you are in a hole the first step is to stop digging, in this case by not continuing to build new homes in high-risk areas.”

A previous analysis from Zillow found that more than 800,000 existing homes worth $451 billion will be at risk in a 10-year flood by 2050. Additionally, there are around a half million homes in California at risk from wildfires.

Zillow also surveyed residents on what solutions they would like to see. Of those surveyed, 71% would support new laws to prevent developers from building in high-risk areas that are prone to natural disasters. Additionally, 62% support making structural improvements to homes to mitigate damage, while 59% would support the adoption of new policies that require homeowners in high-risk areas to buy disaster insurance.

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