Is Your Mortgage Under Water? No, I mean Really – Under Water.

December 8, 2016

As my new video on Florida Sea Level rise (see below) shows, this is happening.

I hate to say it, but clearly at this point, the only thing that will get the attention of the climate denial crowd will be a disastrous crash in the coastal housing bubble, which may already be underway.  My visit in Miami showed me clearly the degree to which South Florida, and many, many, Americans, are deeply in denial about what is happening right in their front yards.   I’m sorry that so many are going to suffer, but wake-up calls are often painful.

ClimateProgress:

It’s a trillion-dollar bubble.

Once again, this raises a key question for all Americans: What year will coastal property values crash?

I first posed the question in 2009, pointing out that coastal property values will crash long before sea levels have actually risen a few feet. Instead, coastal property values will crash when a large fraction of the financial community, mortgage bankers and opinion-makers — along with a smaller but substantial fraction of the public — realize that it is too late for us to stop catastrophic sea level rise.

When sellers outnumber buyers, and banks become reluctant to write 30-year mortgages for doomed property and insurance rates soar, then the coastal property bubble will slow, peak, and crash.

This appears to be underway. As the Times reports, “Nationally, median home prices in areas at high risk for flooding are still 4.4 percent below what they were 10 years ago, while home prices in low-risk areas are up 29.7 percent over the same period, according to the housing data.” Since 2001, “home sales in flood-prone areas grew about 25 percent less quickly than in counties that do not typically flood.”

South Miami mayor Philip Stoddard warns that “coastal mortgages are growing into as big a bubble as the housing market of 2007.” But, he notes, when this bubble crashes it will never recover. Indeed, property values will keep declining since the waters will keep rising and the storm surges will only get worse.

 

Advertisements

11 Responses to “Is Your Mortgage Under Water? No, I mean Really – Under Water.”


  1. […] “This appears to be underway. As the Times reports, “Nationally, median home prices in areas at high risk for flooding are still 4.4 percent below what they were 10 years ago, while home prices in low-risk areas are up 29.7 percent over the same period, according to the housing data.” Since 2001, “home sales in flood-prone areas grew about 25 percent less quickly than in counties that do not typically flood.” –Peter Sinclair (Continue reading:  Is Your Mortgage Under Water? No, I mean Really – Under Water. | Climate Denial Crock of the Week.… […]

  2. otter17 Says:

    This amounts to a LOT of stranded assets. Maybe the Trump administration could do something about this by advocating changing libel laws such that south Florida coastal land owners could force the NYT and ClimateProgress, etc, to stop publishing research like this that would risk the value of their assets. There, problem solved! Everyone can just go back to real estate as usual. /sarc

    “My visit in Miami showed me clearly the degree to which South Florida, and many, many, Americans, are deeply in denial about what is happening right in their front yards. ”

    Really? So there are even coastal property owners in Miami that are in denial despite the sunny day flooding? That is mind blowing, and harkens back to your amusing use of the Erik the Viking movie clip.

  3. skeptictmac57 Says:

    History has shown that older voters represent a higher proportion, and a more motivated sector of the voting public. They also tend to be more conservative.
    So here’s the problem, they will be less likely to face the consequences of AGW and or benefit personally from the efforts to limit it.
    I heard an economist tell the story of being caught in a terrible traffic jam that he could not figure the cause of, until he personally reached the spot where the problem was. It was a mattress that had fallen from a truck, and was blocking a couple of lanes. Now all it would have taken was for a few people to take the time to stop and move that mattress from the road, and everyone else down the line would have greatly benefited from their action, but they would not, so everyone just drove on since it was not their problem any longer.

    • otter17 Says:

      Now, that is among the most depressing things, if this economist’s description of events would come to pass for the climate scenario. I have discussed the subject with a small fraction of older folks that have literally spelled it out that it isn’t their problem since they will be dead before the problem affects them.

      Still, though, imagine how quickly the traffic jam could be resolved if each person passing the mattress knew that he/she has a family member stuck back behind at each distance marker interval going back for a very long way?

      I don’t think we are at the point that people realize the mattress is causing a problem, or that a problem traffic jam exists at all that will affect friends/family. Either that, or in the case of climate change, the mattress looks more like an immovable boulder to most everyone passing it by.

      • skeptictmac57 Says:

        Yes, it is distressing (and depressing) to me that even in my own family, I can’t get anyone interested in taking AGW seriously. They mutely listen to me as I try to inform them about the state of the climate, and point out the perils, and then they change the subject to their favorite gossip, sport, TV show.
        These are not bad or uncaring people by any stretch, but the whole thing seems so abstract and remote that they simply don’t perceive it as a problem or at least one that they can affect by their own action. But then again, they also fail to plan or manage their lives with an eye to their own economic future in terms of retirement or illness or unforeseen emergencies.
        In a word shortsightedness.

        • otter17 Says:

          Yes, I can’t imagine your experience is too different from others that understand the gravity of the subject. It is similar to mine. We as a species may have the characteristics to address the issue, but those characteristics are only prevalent in a minority.

          Still, I think we are still in a situation that the collective will has been insisting that “there is no boulder/mattress on the freeway; there is no traffic jam”. Many people are followers, where they aren’t going to agree that there is a problem unless everyone else in society agrees there is a problem. The linchpin probably being in respected authority figures realizing there is a problem and letting that cascade on down.

          I think the single-pronged approach so far of appealing to the facts directed at a general audience may work, but marginally so without an additional prong. It may work on strengthening action among those that already agree and maybe clear up some of those confused by the issue. Yes, the facts need to be clear and denial debunked, but convincing just the general audience may not have the desired results without convincing the authority leaders as well. The mass psychology of following an authority figure on a topic that requires some determination (like this one) is probably important.

          I don’t know the right way to go about it before a coastal housing crash convinces folks, but I suspect there has to be some way. And who knows if a coastal housing crash does the trick? Other warning sign events have been forgotten.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The mattress story is an example of a “social trap”, more specifically of the “missing hero” type. The Tragedy of the Commons is also a social trap. The concept is discussed in more detail in this excellent piece. Perhaps otter would benefit from looking into the psychology here—-it might help him add more substance to his comments.

      http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/15341_Readings/Negotiation_and_Conflict_Management/Platt_1973_Social_traps.pdf

      • skeptictmac57 Says:

        Yeah, The Tragedy of the Commons comes up often as a problem driving AGW.
        The mattress problem (AGW too) is also a very libertarian issue, because after all, people acting merely in their own self interest have no incentive to do otherwise than drive on, since they have already wasted their time getting up to, and now past the problem.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          The social traps piece offers the opinion that folks in the UK would likely stop and make a single or group effort to remove the mattress for the good of all, since that would be in line with the national character. Since the piece goes back to the early 1970’s I wonder if that would still be true? Any reaction from brothers across the pond?

          In many parts of the third world today, people would behave merely in their own self interest as well—-the difference being that means they would jump at the opportunity to salvage the mattress for their own use or to sell, and might even fight over it. That would produce a positive effect for the common good, and in AGW terms the analogue would be switching to RE because you can profit from it. When enough individuals and companies in the developed world do that, we will begin to make more progress.

      • otter17 Says:

        You could have easily done without such a comment directed towards me, but thanks for the reference. We were discussing how the analogy applied to our current situation concerning AGW, and commiserating about our own personal experiences concerning the broad apathy towards solving it. Yes, the discovery/categorization of the mattress problem and those that first described it are all fine and good, but how to solve it, was what we were questioning.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          No, I could NOT have “easily done without such a comment directed at you”. since IMO, your long-winded opinions and superficial examinations of Dr. Obvious science topics ARE in need of more “substance”, and I’m trying to help you understand that. Where have you been that you would say something like this?

          “Really? So there are even coastal property owners in Miami that are in denial despite the sunny day flooding? That is mind blowing”,


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: