The Real Deal New York

The year in hurricane damage: Is climate change catching up with South Florida RE?

If rising sea levels don't get you, increased taxes for infrastructural retrofitting will
December 30, 2017 10:58AM

(Credit: Max Pixel; top Mike Licht/Flickr)

After a devastating hurricane season that wrought billions of dollars worth of damage, South Florida property markets are beginning to reveal the long-term fall out from the storms.

Prospective buyers are increasingly paying for their own independent flood assessments in order to discover how much risk the property faces as sea levels rise and future hurricanes’ deluges threaten prized ocean view homes, Bloomberg finds.

In a report published this month, the property values for homes caught below sea level rise plummet by about 7 percent as a result of their in-built flood risk.

For Albert Slap, owner of flood assessment company, Irma “changed everything” in terms of people’s awareness of the risks. So much so, in fact, that his business is now “on fire” because, according to Slap, buyers are becoming more and more wary of real estate agents who, as of yet, have no legal requirement to disclose flood risks on properties.

But even when the flood risks of a particular property aren’t a major concern, work on surrounding neighborhoods and connecting infrastructure are proving to be powerful deterrents; raising roads and creating new storm water systems mean higher property taxes, which is bill not all new home buyers want to take on. In Miami Beach, such plans will run up a cost of about $500 million.

[Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson