“Climate Gentrification” – Sea Level’s Unexpected Impact

December 29, 2017

CBS News:

Homes at higher elevations in Miami are gaining value at a faster clip than those closer to sea level. It’s an accelerating trend, and it has residents and real estate agents — in Miami and other coastal communities — asking whether “climate gentrification” has arrived.

The term, which only recently entered the lexicon, describes the role of climate change in recalibrating land values, a phenomenon that ultimately could displace low-income and minority residents in a similar fashion as urban gentrification. As sea levels rise and flooding persists, the thinking goes in the case of Miami, waterfront property will lose some of its luster and higher-situated neighborhoods like Little Haiti and Little Havana will become more attractive.

The professor who was first to publish research using the phrase “climate gentrification” isn’t convinced that’s the main culprit in Miami. At least not yet. Jesse M. Keenan, a researcher on urban development and climate adaptation at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, tracked the rate of price appreciation since 1971 for more than 250,000 residential properties in Miami-Dade County, and compared those figures to elevation. Keenan found that properties at high elevations have long appreciated faster in Miami, mostly because of nonclimate factors.

However, since 2000, the correlation between elevation and price appreciation has grown stronger, which Keenan, in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch, suggested may be “early signaling” of preference for properties at higher elevations and a reaction to persistent nuisance flooding in lower areas.

Below, how this plays out in Miami.

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4 Responses to ““Climate Gentrification” – Sea Level’s Unexpected Impact”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    My sister’s post-flood neighborhood outside of New Orleans has three classes of lots: (1) those that were bought out by the parish and had their houses removed, (2) those still at old elevation (lower price tier), and (3) those elevated with Federal subsidy (higher price tier). Ironically, the bought-out lots add pretty green spaces that improve surrounding property values.

  2. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    Unexpected? I would have thought entirely expected. Ultimately Miami is not savable, when the wider community wakes up prices will crash. Near worthless, just like a boat trapped behind a now too low causeway.

  3. indy222 Says:

    Joe Romm expects that by the mid 2020’s the rising floods from big storms and the general cracking of denial into desperation, will have the Federal Govt end flood insurance for climate-relevant flooding zones. And then, coastal property values will crash, and the only way to buy will be with cash by the very rich, who don’t care about insurance for their last years.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      Rich people mostly get rich by caring a lot about money; their addiction seems more likely to intensify than lessen as they get closer to death.

      They’re far more likely to engage in rent-seeking/subsidy demands–more flood insurance for 3rd and 4th “homes” and commercial properties. Relocation money and other help for these poor villainaires will be extorted from governments unless we stop it. SLR encroachment on toxic waste sites will decrease water quality and maybe lower real estate values even faster, although it may be hard to tell at that point.

      “all kind of excuses to fight.” And all kinds of excuses for all kinds of disaster capitalism, which phrase is certainly in the running for redundancy of the millennium.


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