Climate change has been a hot topic for debate for decades, but what no one seems to be discussing is how it has affected real estate. Climate change can drastically affect the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes are known to temporarily displace evacuees, but in many cases displaced people remain in their new location much longer than expected, either because they are unable to return or simply choose not to. Even the threat of a natural disaster that hasn’t occurred yet can prompt people to move away from a disaster-prone area.
What does this mean for real estate? It means that disaster-prone areas are losing significant value, and less prone areas are gaining an influx of new residents that they may not have the ability to house. After all, the housing shortage is still in full effect and the displaced residents may not be able to afford much, due to the likely lesser value of their previous home. People across the real estate industry need to work together to identify the key factors of where people may want to leave, where they may want to go, and how they’re going to acquire housing, as well as work to reduce our environmental impact.