Despite Climate Risks, Remote Work and Affordability Drive American Home Purchases in Flood-Prone Regions
Over the past two years, over 384,000 individuals opted to relocate to flood-vulnerable counties, with a considerable surge of over 100%. This trend encompassed numerous beachfront areas along Florida’s delicate coasts, as reported by Redfin data.
The impetus behind this mass migration was the pandemic’s influence and the affordability crisis in the United States. As people sought to break free from expensive urban centers, they boldly decided to move, despite the inherent risks associated with flooding in these regions.
Researchers at Redfin hypothesized that the combination of remote work opportunities and historically low mortgage rates during the pandemic prompted many Americans to depart from pricey coastal cities.
Instead, they sought out more budget-friendly housing options or preferred regions with more favorable climates, such as Florida and Arizona.
Despite potential concerns related to extreme heat or fire risk in these areas, the allure of affordable living and desirable weather proved to be strong incentives for the relocation trend.
In San Francisco, for example, the median home price in June was $1.4 million, but in Florida, the median price is $410,000, while in Arizona, it’s $625,000.
According to Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather:
“It’s human nature to focus on current benefits. It’s also human nature to discount risks that are tough to measure, like climate change.”