Houses in flood zones in the US are currently overvalued by a total of $43.8 billion based on information in publicly available flood hazard maps, raising concerns about the stability of real estate markets as climate risks become more severe.


Houses in flood zones in the US are currently overvalued by a total of $43.8 billion based on information in publicly available flood hazard maps, raising concerns about the stability of real estate markets as climate risks become more severe.

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  1. feochampas says

    I grew up next to a river. When I was kid it flooded every other year. The fields below my house would turn into giant ponds. White swans would stop by. It was very pretty.

    We lived on a hill. Watching a river crest and houses destroyed is scary af. I rode a bus to school. During a high river, I could see the river was even with the levees we were driving past. The water was at least ten feet higher than the fields on the other side. Sometimes the levees held, sometimes they didn’t.

    I cannot understand how anyone can live in a floodplain. Flowing water is scary af you guys.

  2. whatinthecalifornia says

    Can someone please provide the cover graphic here for me?

  3. acrewdog says

    The terrifying thing to me is the billions of dollars in real estate investments in places like Charleston SC, and Miami Beach where king tides are already flooding streets. Historic buildings (some if which are homes) will be a big problem.

  4. Disastrous-Object-85 says

    Houston is in for nothing but trouble.

  5. Proddx says

    Link from the article to check your property:

  6. jojowasher says

    man I wish they would outlaw building on a flood zone, in my area there are multi million dollar houses that were destroyed a while ago by a flood, they rebuilt but are refusing for the city to do flood mitigation because it will “ruin their view”

  7. matharas says

    As engineers we talk about this all of the time.

    1). Live near the beach not on it. Flood insurance is often expensive, nuisance flooding (in low lying coastal areas) can often flood your house if not built correctly, and when floods are bad, they are very bad.

    2). Avoid wetland areas/living down gradient of a hill. You will have water in your house/basement.

  8. AdamInChainz says

    Hi. Builder here. We build in flood zones. I’m not sure on accuracy, but probably true.

    A way to make that more accurate is to say:

    With FEMA’s latest reviews of land in the 100-year flood zones, we show $[value] of homes is in danger of flooding now.

    Because many many homes were built decades before FEMA’s latest update.

  9. Moondo13 says

    Stability? If those homes are overvalued and plummet, doesn’t that inversely affect all other homes I.e. non-flood zone housing goes up?

  10. GalactusPoo says

    SO many new communities in the Dallas area are built on swamp.

  11. AlfaHotelWhiskey says

    Is anyone else thinking that $43 Billion isn’t that much money anymore? Bezos is worth $200B.

    This also seems like a very low number. With no supporting data whatsoever I would think this number would be so much higher with even portions of NYC, Miami, and Boston flooding.

  12. Darzin says

    Houses are overvalued, banks are giving bigger loans to accommodate people buying them, then they sell the loan to Fannie Mae when they run out of loan money for the year. Now it is a government problem. The market keeps inflating and as you can see in some regions of the country already, houses that should be valued at 300k are now being purchased in the 500-900k dollar range. Looking at you Minnesota and Arizona.

  13. Mr_ThomastheCat says

    As a New Orleanian I won’t buy a home there. We’re already 8 feet below sea level and it only takes around 20 feet of Mississippi river storm surge to top the levee.

    That said, the houses in some of these nice neighborhoods right next to the levee go for $500K+ – and New Orleans is a relatively depressed city. The housing prices there are so varied and it’s just bizarre. You can go to Gentilly and get a $200k house, but a mile south where the real flood zone is the houses are $500k.

    There are some super nice condos right next to the Marigny that are for rent for $4k a month (in New Orleans where the average income is $26k for individual and $46 for household pre covid 2019).

    A lot people who are buying in these areas are actually companies who turn them around and put it on Airbnb. They can write off losing a house, but I just can’t justify spending $500k on a house that’s one storm away from going under water. And when climate change really hits, in the next couple of decades, I really don’t think even the suburbs are safe there.

  14. WhoTooted says

    The United States commercial real estate market is estimated to be $16 trillion and the residential market $33.6 trillion.

    This estimate represents a 0.1% over valuation. It is bizarre to say this represents a risk to stability.

  15. tuctrohs says

    If the housing in flood zones is overvalued, one could also conclude that housing outside of flood zones is undervalued.

  16. Sp4ni3l says

    As a Dutch guy: What is the problem? Half our country and basically every of our major cities (few exceptions) are build below sea level.

    Build dikes!

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