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In the future, coastal land values may crumble

The Fort Lauderdale market for residential property near the coastline is not showing any signs of coming to a screeching halt. However, there are some who are predicting that down the road, thanks to climate change, the property market on the coast will "dry up" even before the sea level rise actually forces people inland.

One public official in a nearby city believes that the financial problems in the coastal real estate market will come when people realize that they can no longer get their boats in and out of the inlets and canals along the coast because of water rise. Eventually, the water will be too high for a boat to get under the coastal bridges.

This, the official concludes, will frighten buyers away from the coast, and it will likely mean the end of coastal land development efforts, especially since insurance companies and banks probably will not be interested in the risk. With the resulting loss of land value, cities like Fort Lauderdale could lose valuable revenue, which will, in turn, mean people will not get the services they have come to expect, which will diminish land values even further.

Already, scientists say ocean levels in the area have risen about four inches over the course of 20 years, and there has been an increase in coastal flooding, even during clear weather. The prediction is that by 2060, sea levels in the area will have risen three feet. As it stands, the end of the century will see the loss of almost 1 million coastal properties, the combined worth of those properties being $400 billion.

Source: Bloomberg, "The Nightmare Scenario for Florida's Coastal Homeowners," Christopher Flavelle, April 19, 2017

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