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Rising Sea Levels Are Hurting Home Values in These 40 Cities

Karen Doyle

As sea levels rise and hurricanes get more and more costly, the effects of climate change are disproportionately felt in some areas of the country. GOBankingRates studied the costs associated with erosion, analyzing 300 cities from Zillow’s research report on rising sea levels and then looking at the number and values of properties that have been and are expected to be impacted by climate change, as well as the total cost of that impact.

The study analyzes the loss in home values since 2005 and estimates the number of homes likely to be underwater, due to erosion and rising tides by 2100 — using this data to identify the U.S. cities most affected by rising sea levels. Climate change is a national issue, but every state and city needs to understand how much climate change will cost them in the coming years.

 

40. Beach Haven, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $958,600
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $87,945,172
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 81.7%

Beach Haven is located on a spit of land known as Long Beach Island. The town has the third-highest median home value in 2019 at $958,600, and values are on the rise, up from $859,600 in 2017 and $794,900 in 2009.

Nevertheless, 1,835 homes in Beach Haven are expected to be underwater by 2100 — Beach Haven’s population is just over 1,100.

39. Ventnor City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $265,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $109,968,769
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 71.4%

From its location on Absecon Island, Ventnor City is surrounded on all sides by water. A beach destination in summer, the town experienced devastating flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Rising seas levels and hurricane activity continue to threaten this town.

38. Davie, Florida

  • Current median home value: $341,600
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $32,033,632
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 51.3%

Davie is located in Broward County in South Florida. The most recent hurricane to hit the area was Hurricane Michael in October 2018, which made landfall as a Category 5 storm.

37. Marathon, Florida

  • Current median home value: $178,100
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $45,115,498
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 93.3%

Marathon is in the midst of the Florida Keys and is comprised of several islands. This vacation destination was hit hard by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Nearly all of the homes in the town are expected to be underwater by 2100.

36. Surf City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $347,900
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $86,847,277
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 87.7%

The aptly named Surf City is a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey with about 20,000 year-round residents. It was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Ten years ago, the median home value in Surf City was $434,600.

35. Long Beach, New York

  • Current median home value: $597,400
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $84,151,225
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 62.1%

Long Beach is known as “the city by the sea,” and as such, it’s vulnerable to erosion. With a relatively high median home value of nearly $600,000, the potential for large losses looms for Long Beach.

34. Palm Beach, Florida

  • Current median home value: $1,149,800
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $62,445,556
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 49.9%

Palm Beach is well known as a playground for the rich and famous. It has the second-highest median home value on this list, and homes here continue to appreciate. In 2009, the median value was $900,200, and in 2017, it was $981,900. Unfortunately, nearly half of these fancy homes are projected to be underwater by 2100, and those homes have a total value of over $11 billion.

33. Stone Harbor, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $1,590,600
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $70,807,490
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 77.8%

Stone Harbor has the highest current median home value on the list, but it’s had its ups and downs. In 2009, the median home value was almost exactly what it is today at $1,530,900. Then along came Sandy, and by 2017, the median home value had recovered to just $1,286,500. Three-quarters of these pricey homes are expected to be underwater by 2100.

32. Fort Myers Beach, Florida

  • Current median home value: $435,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $24,467,318
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 86.2%

Fort Myers Beach took a one-two punch from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Michael in 2018. Over 9,000 homes in this beach community are expected to be underwater by 2100.

31. Ortley Beach, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $440,800
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $94,864,039
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 95.8%

Ortley Beach has the second-highest percentage of homes projected to be underwater by 2100, resulting in the potential for real problems for this town.

30. Holmes Beach, Florida

  • Current median home value: $643,200
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $75,212,310
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 90.6%

Holmes Beach is located on Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with just 5,000 residents and 3 miles of beach. By 2100, nine out of 10 homes are projected to be underwater.

29. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

  • Current median home value: $449,100
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $149,072,672
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 24.2%

Home values in Mount Pleasant continue to increase, growing from a median of $313,200 in 2009 to $417,900 in 2017 to $449,100 today. But around 7,200 homes are expected to be underwater by 2100, with a total value of $4.7 billion.

28. Wildwood, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $381,900
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $77,544,297
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 99.8%

Wildwood is a beach resort town, with 5 miles of beaches and a boardwalk chock-full of entertainment, dining and shopping. Unfortunately, this summer paradise is expected to have very nearly all of its homes underwater by 2100.

27. Lavallette, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $586,900
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $81,887,215
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 82.9%

Lavallette enjoyed a median home price of $652,800 in 2009. Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, and by 2017, the median price had recovered to $508,900, but it remains lower today than it was prior to that storm. By 2100, eight in 10 homes will be underwater, representing a total value of $3.5 billion.

26. Sanibel, Florida

  • Current median home value: $779,500
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $55,567,577
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 84.5%

Sanibel has one of the highest median home values of any Florida town on this list, so it stands to lose significant value as erosion continues. Over 6,000 homes are expected to be underwater by 2100, representing over $5 billion in value.

25. Brigantine, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $315,100
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $158,874,047
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 56.8%

Like many New Jersey communities, home values in Brigantine have yet to fully recover from Hurricane Sandy. The median value was $362,200 in 2009, but that dropped to $269,500 by 2017.

24. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

  • Current median home value: $437,200
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $48,641,515
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 50.8%

With 12 miles of beaches and renowned golf courses, Hilton Head Island is a top vacation destination. Median home prices on Hilton Head have recovered from their recent dip, having dropped from $430,400 in 2009 to $398,200 in 2017. By 2100, however, expect half of the island’s homes to be underwater.

23. Hallandale, Florida

  • Current median home value: $213,700
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $10,415,020
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 78.6%

Hallandale has a relatively low median home value, but a large number of properties that are in jeopardy. In fact, the town is expected to have around 17,600 homes underwater by 2100, with a total value of $4.4 billion.

22. Margate City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $474,300
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $109,480,616
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 89%

Margate City homes have yet to recover the value they’ve lost since 2009. The median value at that time was $493,700, and then it dipped to $437,400 in 2017. By 2100, over 5,800 homes are expected to be underwater.

21. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

  • Current median home value: $942,500
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $90,490,822
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 93.8%

With 10 miles of beachfront, it’s not surprising that Kiawah Island has the third-highest percentage of homes projected to by underwater by 2100. The resort town also had the second-highest median home value in 2009 at $1,138,400. Its current median home value is in fourth place at $942,500.

20. Hialeah, Florida

  • Current median home value: $287,900
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $33,782,739
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 46%

Hialeah, near Miami, is predicted to have nearly 24,000 homes underwater by 2100. The lost value is comparatively low due to the area’s low median home value, but nearly half of all homes will be underwater by the beginning of the next century.

19. Key Largo, Florida

  • Current median home value: $625,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $159,615,296
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 61.6%

Key Largo, in the Florida Keys, has a relatively high median home value which has continued to rise since 2007, despite several significant hurricanes. But by 2100, six out of 10 homes in the area will be underwater.

18. Atlantic City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $186,700
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $174,748,706
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 73.2%

Another victim of Hurricane Sandy, Atlantic City has a median home value that is still below what it was in 2009, when it was $234,200, although it has risen from $161,000 in 2017. Nearly three-quarters of the city’s homes are expected to be underwater by 2100.

17. Ocean City, Maryland

  • Current median home value: $603,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $28,979,850
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 63.5%

The aptly named Ocean City is projected to suffer due to rising sea levels. Although many communities will have a higher percentage of homes underwater, Ocean City will see a whopping 21,000-plus homes underwater by 2100.

16. Pembroke Pines, Florida

  • Current median home value: $310,200
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $4,695,281
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 48.3%

Pembroke Pines has seen the least value lost in impacted properties of any city on the list, but that has a lot to do with its relatively low median home value. In all, about 27,400 homes are projected to be underwater by 2100.

15. North Wildwood, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $348,900
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $138,435,750
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 92.1%

North Wildwood is one of the few New Jersey towns on this list that has recovered from its decline in home prices since 2009. The median value at that time was $332,600, it dipped to $312,600 in 2017, but now stands at $348,900. Another decline can be expected, however, since nine out of 10 homes are expected to be underwater by 2100.

14. Boston

  • Current median home value: $600,100
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $5,714,200
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 18.2%

Massachusetts has only one city on this list, but Boston has the third-highest total value of underwater homes in 2100 at $24.6 billion. High home values contribute to the risk for the Bay State, which could see over 20,700 homes underwater by 2100.

13. Key West, Florida

  • Current median home value: $661,400
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $133,015,501
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 83.5%

Homes in Key West continue to appreciate, having risen steadily since 2009 despite numerous storms. By the beginning of the next century, however, the vast majority of homes will be underwater.

12. Miramar, Florida

  • Current median home value: $312,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $7,694,339
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 70.3%

Miramar has a relatively low median home value, although it has increased since 2009 when it was $207,500, and since 2017 when it was $260,000. However, about 27,000 homes are projected to be underwater by 2100, representing a loss in value of $8.2 billion.

11. Avalon, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $129,200
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $165,956,129
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 87.1%

Avalon has the lowest median home value of any city on the list, although it has increased from $80,900 in 2009 and $96,000 in 2017. It is expected to have almost 90% of homes underwater by 2100.

10. Naples, Florida

  • Current median home value: $324,100
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $24,662,978
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 21.3%

Naples is expected to have over 28,800 homes underwater by 2100 – the fourth-highest amount on the list — yet the percentage of homes predicted to be underwater is just about one in five.

9. Sea Isle City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $724,700
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $208,644,351
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 89.3%

Sea Isle City is one of the few New Jersey towns on the list to have maintained its median home value, which was $631,900 in 2009 and $653,500 in 2017. Nevertheless, nearly nine in 10 of its pricey homes will be underwater by 2100.

8. Charleston, South Carolina

  • Current median home value: $320,800
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $266,217,606
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 25.7%

Charleston is expected to have the second-highest loss of value in the next 15 years, with impacted properties losing an additional $387,305,302 in value by 2033. This is despite the fact that just a quarter of its homes are expected to be underwater by 2100.

7. Saint Petersburg, Florida

  • Current median home value: $219,300
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $243,968,610
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 26.4%

Saint Petersburg is expected to have nearly 25,000 homes underwater by 2100. This represents just over a quarter of all homes in this city of 266,000 residents.

6. Miami

  • Current median home value: $339,700
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $125,275,830
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 30.5%

Florida’s largest city, with a metropolitan population of just over 6 million people, faces a significant impact due to climate change. Miami is expected to have the third-highest number of homes underwater by 2100 at just under 33,000, with a value of $16 billion.

5. New York

  • Current median home value: $681,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $185,084,488
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 3.1%

Because of its dense population, New York has the second-highest total value of homes expected to be underwater by 2100 at $25.7 billion, based on over 27,000 homes, which represents just 3.1% of homes in the city.

4. Hollywood, Florida

  • Current median home value: $279,300
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $304,568,101
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 40.9%

Hollywood, Florida, is just south of Fort Lauderdale. Median home values there have risen from $168,000 in 2009 to $234,900 in 2017, but about 21,000 homes are still expected to be underwater by 2100.

3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Current median home value: $319,300
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $193,885,367
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 56%

Fort Lauderdale is expected to have the highest number of homes that are underwater in 2100 at 37,411. The total value of these homes is estimated at $20.4 billion.

2. Ocean City, New Jersey

  • Current median home value: $603,000
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $530,439,399
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 79.4%

Ocean City has the highest dollar amount of value lost in impacted properties from 2005 to 2017 of any city on this list. It is also projected to have the largest loss in the next 15 years, losing $612,045,461 in property values from 2018 to 2033.

1. Miami Beach, Florida

  • Current median home value: $377,600
  • Value lost in impacted properties (2005-17): $337,167,466
  • Percentage of homes underwater by 2100: 77.6%

Miami Beach has lost the second-highest value in impacted properties from 2005 to 2017. It is expected to have the third-highest projected future loss from 2018 to 2033 at $377,054,546.

What’s more, it’s expected to have the highest total value of underwater homes in 2100 at $33.4 billion, and the second-highest number of homes at 37,144.

Climate Change Is Hurting Home Values the Most in This Area

Most of the loss in home values that has occurred since 2005, and that which is expected to occur in the next 81 years based on rising sea level projections, is concentrated in two states: Florida and New Jersey. Of the top 40 U.S. cities affected by sea level rise, there are 18 in Florida and 14 in New Jersey. South Carolina has four cities on the list, New York has two and Massachusetts and Maryland each have one.

Not coincidentally, Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey hard in 2012 and cost a total of $71 billion. In 2017, Hurricane Irma, which cost $50 billion, hit Florida. Hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more costly, with three of the five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history occurring in 2017.

Warmer ocean temperatures and rising sea levels make hurricanes more intense, and hurricanes have increased in frequency in recent decades as well. Whether homes are damaged from hurricanes or rising sea levels — or both — the economic impact is clear.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined this list of cities most affected by rising sea levels by analyzing 300 cities sourced from Zillow’s “Rising Sea Levels Research” report, from 2017, along the following criteria: (1) estimated property value lost from 2005 or 2006 to 2017, sourced from FloodiQ.com; (2) number of homes across all tiers that are projected to be underwater by the year 2100, (3) total home value of all homes projected to be underwater, (4) median home of value of all homes projected to be underwater, (5) percentage of all homes that are projected to be underwater, all sourced from Zillow’s “Rising Sea Levels Research;” current median home values sourced from Zillow’s February 2019 index.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Rising Sea Levels Are Hurting Home Values in These 40 Cities