The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners

April 19, 2017

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Rising insurance costs, reluctant lenders and skittish foreign buyers could hurt home prices along the South Florida coast even before sea level rise worsens. If property values start to fall, banks could stop writing 30-year mortgages for coastal homes, shrinking the pool of able buyers and sending prices lower still. Those properties make up a quarter of the tax base for coastal cities like Coral Gables; if that revenue fell, the city would struggle to provide the services that make it such a desirable place to live, causing more sales and another drop in revenue. The effects of climate-driven price drops could ripple across the economy, and eventually force the federal government to decide what is owed to people whose home values are ruined by climate change.