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Climate change drives buyers to safer grounds | firsttuesday Journal

Climate change drives buyers to safer grounds

The pandemic and rise in remote working have given many homeowners the opportunity to choose where they want to live. Among their deciding factors, climate has become increasingly important. Natural disasters are becoming more common, according to the United Nations.

Homeowners are paying attention to climate change and how it threatens their livelihoods — and their homes.
63% of homeowners who moved during the pandemic believe that climate change is or will be an issue in the place they now live, according to a Redfin survey of U.S. homebuyers and renters who have moved to a new home since March 1, 2020.

Homeowners are more likely to spend time researching climate issues before moving. Of those surveyed who researched climate issues before deciding where to move:

- 53% of homeowners researched climate issues; and

- 28% of renters researched climate issues.

Homeowners are twice as likely as renters to have researched climate issues before moving, mainly due to the fact that homeownership is a long-term commitment. California real estate now faces the threats of rising sea levels and more wildfires. Homebuyers are considering how climate change will affect their real estate investments.

Beyond its long-term implications, climate change is impacting homeowners in more immediate financial ways through increasing insurance rates. All of these factors are pointing towards migration patterns shifting away from areas with higher climate risks. In the next decade, we are likely to see more homeowners migrating to lower-risk areas. Though, in California, from wildfires to droughts to flooding, it can seem that no region is safe from the perils of climate change.

Climate change preparedness

We’ve learned the hard way from recent years’ California wildfires that natural disasters can completely demolish real estate, putting homeowners, builders, and lenders at risk for great financial losses.

It’s more important now than ever that builders construct housing that is resilient to climate change or invest in areas that are naturally resilient to climate change.