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REPORT: $34B In Coastal Real Estate Faces Flooding


An estimated $34B worth of U.S. coastal real estate could flood within the next three decades, according to a new report by the nonprofit Climate Central, as seas rise between 8 and 23 inches.

The report predicts that by 2050, more than 648,000 individual tax parcels — or about 4.4 million acres — will be at least partly below high tide levels. Of those, more than 48,000 properties may be entirely below high tide, largely in Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

By 2100, as much as $108B worth (in current value) of real estate could be impacted by flooding, the report also notes.

Louisiana, Florida and Texas would take the brunt of rising seas levels in terms of loss of property value and the associated loss of tax revenue for local governments, according to Climate Central.

Louisiana would be the worst-hit state by far, with 8.7% of the land in the state, roughly 2.4 million acres, below high tide levels by 2050. Florida is next, with 1.8% of its land, or roughly 600,000 acres, below high tide levels by the mid-21st century.

The report bases its local sea level projections on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2021. Each state designates a land elevation based on different average tidal levels — such as average high tide or low tide lines — to set the boundary of high tides. 

CRE is taking note of the risk of rising sea levels, with some developers opting out of more vulnerable climate environments altogether, such as Florida.

“I’m not particularly interested in developing Florida,” Presidio Bay Managing Director K. Cyrus Sanandaji told Commercial Observer. “Because if we’re talking about six to nine feet of sea level rise, almost that whole state is gone.”