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  • Writer's pictureClimate Alpha

How Climate Change Could Sink the US Real Estate Market

Rising seas, fires, and outdated government policies threaten a repeat of the subprime mortgage meltdown Before Liz Greene bought her home in Horry County, South Carolina, she made sure to ask the builder and real estate agent if the property was prone to flooding. “They said, ‘Not a drop.’” After the closing, it didn’t take long to prove them wrong. “I sit in water all the time,” she says today.

While Greene is determined to stay put, many of her neighbors would prefer to keep quiet and sell to new arrivals before more frequent flooding drives down the value of their homes, leaving their mortgages underwater, too.

Although that’s unlikely barring another storm like 2018’s Hurricane Florence, Greene and her neighbors are undoubtedly leaving money on the table. A home in her subdivision listed for $549,999 today — a price already reflecting pandemic-era inflation — can expect to see 8.71% shaved off its future appreciation by 2035, or more than $100,000.

That’s the unspoken risk premium Greene and her neighbors pay for living in a community rated by Climate Alpha’s Resilience Index™ as having moderate risks and vulnerabilities coupled with low readiness — a potentially catastrophic combination.

Ensuring prospective homeowners like Greene can protect both their families and their nest eggs is why we’re launching Climate Alpha HOMES — the first tool of its kind to calculate future risks and losses in dollars and cents. Reach out to our team now to enroll in our open beta test and see for yourself how much you stand to lose — or gain — from climate change.

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