More than 42K California homes are at risk from rising sea levels: Zillow

Properties in areas such as Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Long Beach are most in danger

Aug.August 02, 2016 12:00 PM

“Underwater” homeowners could soon actually have to reach for their snorkels.

Forget negative equity. A new report by shows homeowners in some parts of the country, including California, are in much graver danger from rising sea levels and the flooding that accompanies them. More than 42,000, or 0.44 percent, of all California homes are at risk, the report shows.Those properties are valued at a combined $49.2 billion.

“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,” said Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “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 who could lose their homes.”

Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Zillow identified the areas of the country most at risk. In California, properties in areas such as Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Long Beach were identified as being in the most danger from rising sea levels.

Nationwide, almost 1.9 million homes, or roughly 2 percent of the total housing stock, are at risk of being underwater by 2100, which is when the sea levels are expected to have risen by six feet, it said. The highest risk state was Florida, where one in every eight properties is expected to be under water, representing more than $400 billion in value.

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