Person Decides To Tear Down Home Rather Than Sell Because You Ate A Cheeseburger

This is climahysteria at its finest

Sea level rise is already costing property owners on the coast

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Elizabeth Boineau’s 1939 Colonial sits a block and a half from the Ashley River in a sought-after neighborhood of ancient live oaks, charming gardens and historic homes. A year ago, she thought she could sell it for nearly $1 million. But after dropping the price 11 times, Boineau has decided to tear it down.

In March, the city’s Board of Architectural Review approved the demolition — a decision not taken lightly in Charleston’s historic district.

“Each time that I was just finishing up paying off the bills, another flood would hit,” Boineau said.

Boineau is one of many homeowners on the front lines of society’s confrontation with climate change, living in houses where rising sea levels have worsened flooding not just in extreme events like hurricanes, but also heavy rains and even high tides. Now, three studies have found evidence that the threat of higher seas is also undermining coastal property values as home buyers — particularly investors — begin the retreat to higher ground.

If you’re building in a spot that is just barely above sea level, then you’re asking for problems. Just building next to water you’re taking a risk.

On a broad scale, the effect is subtle, the studies show. The sea has risen about eight inches since 1900, and the pace is accelerating, with three inches accumulating since 1993, according to a comprehensive federal climate report released last year. Scientists predict the oceans will rise an additional three to seven inches by 2030, and as much as 4.3 feet by 2100.

First, the report was based on some rather shoddy science. Next up, 8 inches of sea rise over almost 120 years is exactly average during the last 7,000-8,000 years, a period measured after the end of the great meltwater from the end of the last ice age. As I’ve noted numerous times, to get that average you’d need quite a bit more sea rise during the warm periods. The Charleston tide gauge shows 3.25mm per year, equivalent to 1.07 feet per 100 years, nor does it show any acceleration. 4.3 feet by 2100 is just scaremongering.

By comparing properties that are virtually the same but for their exposure to the seas, researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University found that vulnerable homes sold for 6.6 percent less than unexposed homes. The most vulnerable properties — those that stand to be flooded after seas rise by just one foot ­— were selling at a 14.7 percent discount, according to the study, which is set to be published in the Journal of Financial Economics.

Keep reading way down

Indeed, beachfront property is not necessarily declining in value. Rather, the studies suggest that more-exposed properties — including properties that have not yet experienced direct flooding — simply are not appreciating as rapidly as their inland neighbors.

Indeed, beachfront property has already increased so much that it’s hard to go up much more. There are homes along the New Jersey shore where I grew up where the city council’s had to grandfather in lower property values for tax purposes, because the retired folks who bought them decades before wouldn’t be able to afford the property tax. Homes were jumping from a couple hundred thousand to millions in short order.

And, as far as the home mentioned at the beginning? The story finally notes that it is in a very low lying area, as is most of Charleston. It was flooded out multiple times, especially from tropical systems, so, it was damaged a bit. Hence, it was very much over-priced.

But this is still all your fault.

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6 Responses to “Person Decides To Tear Down Home Rather Than Sell Because You Ate A Cheeseburger”

  1. JGlanton says:

    This article has helped me decide what to have for lunch today. Thanks so much!

  2. Rick says:

    I grew up and spent my formative years in Charleston. We spent most of our time in boats so I know the area well. One given was the flooding around Charleston on high tides. Also, a factor is that much of Charleston, especially near the rivers, is built on filled marshland which has been sinking for centuries. Much ado about nothing.

  3. sch says:

    There was a similar story about Chesapeake bay recently, noting the US Naval installations had
    had to build up their piers and docks over the past decade. Further research shows not so much sea level rising as land sinking relative to the ocean level, a trend for the past century or so.

  4. JiminAlaska says:

    Dang, at that rate I’ll have to wait almost 50,000 years to sell my beach front property here in North Pole Alaska.

  5. Bill Adams says:

    I like your tag line.

    I have frequently said; “The only speech that needs protecting is, speech we don’t like.”

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