Key Highlights

  • New data/maps now available to analyze natural disasters while house hunting
  • Natural disasters correlate with home valuation over time

Residential Buyers Now Getting Access to Climate Analytics

Commercial real estate investors have long had access to climate analytics from such firms as Four Twenty Sevenand Jupiter Intelligence.

Now, residential buyers are able to access climate analytics on their own…and most of it at no cost.

Last year, both Redfin and realtor.com added flood risk information to their respective websites.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers flood risk data based on its own flood maps in the general area where specific homes are located.  Flood Factor, created by the partnership of the First Street Foundation and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), offers private data that indicates a 30-year estimate of future flood risk.  (Experts consider Flood Factor data to be far superior to data from FEMA.)

Sustainability Projects Throughout Country

ICLEI also collaborates with cities nationwide to help them develop long-term plans to help mitigate climate changes.  ICLEI includes high-resolution maps that highlight the risks of fire, heat and sea-level rise in most areas around the country.

City and countywide maps are also useful tools for buyers.  Last year alone, the US faced nearly $100B in damages provoked by natural disasters.  Researchers with the UCLA Anderson Review estimate that by 2100, millions of coastal homes, some 40%, will be underwater.

Buyers in California, as well as other disaster-prone states such as Florida, New York and Texas, are advised that they may no longer qualify for traditional home insurance.  Even if they do qualify for home insurance, buyers need to know that premiums have skyrocketed +59% over the last 10 years.

Buyers:  It’s Up to You to Do Your Own Research

According to Ruth Shin, founder and CEO of Property Nest, “A seller usually will not be willing to disclose some of the issues you could face as a homeowner of their house…it’s important (that potential buyers) be aware of weather and climate issues that have affected the area for the past few years.”

Buyers also need to be aware of disclosure laws in states where they may be buying a home.  Buyers in any state can buy a natural hazard report for approximately $100.  In California, sellers must provide buyers with a Natural Hazard Disclosure Report that identifies risk areas for flooding, earthquakes, fires, and whatever else

Additional Resources

OJO Labs, a real estate tech company, has partnered with ClimateCheck to enable users to punch in any address in the country and then access risk assessments for drought, fire, storm, heat and flood.  All of that data is included on all of movoto.com’s residential listings.

CoreLogic, a well-known and often quoted provider of property data here and elsewhere, offers detailed risk reports for citywide and national climate risks.  (FEMA, mortgage and insurance companies are among their clients.) The cost of CoreLogic’s reports start at $18.

By the way, CoreLogic’s latest 2021 Hurricane Report  indicates that nearly 8M homes are at risk of storm surge with more than 31M homes at risk of moderate or extreme risk exposure to hurricane winds.  The New York metro is at the highest risk for storm surge.  Florida, Louisiana and New York have the most homes at risk of storm surge and/or hurricane winds

Zach Aarons, co-founder of MetaProp, a PropTech venture capital firm, said, “This is a market that is going to continue to emerge.”

Thanks to The New York Times, MetaProp, CoreLogic, OJO Labs, ClimateCheck, movoto.com, Redfin, realtor.com, Property Next, UCLA Anderson Review, ICLEI, FloodFactor, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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