Homebuyers are not worried about climate change: CEO of Redfin

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CEO of a real estate brokerage company Redfin told CNBC on Friday that he believes US home buyers have yet to seriously consider the dangers of climate change.

“Buyers continue to march into the jaws of destruction,” Redfin’s Glenn Kelman said in an interview. “Final call”.

The bushfire season in the American West is approaching. longer and more intense as a result of anthropogenic climate change caused by higher temperatures and drier conditions. Likewise, scientists say, global warming and rising sea levels are intensifying hurricanes and floods.

Homebuyers in vulnerable parts of the country are not deterred by these realities, Kelman said. “Shoppers themselves are driven by affordability, and the most affordable locations in America are those that are most at risk of climate change impacts,” he said. “They will be flooded with hurricanes. They will suffer from forest fires. “

“If you look at where people are moving, it’s Florida and the southeast, which are particularly prone to flooding and also have an incredible heat risk when temperatures rise. And they are also moving to places like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Utah, ”he said. – said Kelman.

Phoenix now the fifth largest city in the USAeclipsing Philadelphia, according to recently released 2020 Census data, after the capital of Arizona has grown faster than any other major American city in the past decade. Located in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has long been known for its heat, but experts say it is likely to happen. become more extreme as a result of climate change.

Utah’s population grew by over 18% between 2010 and 2020, making it fastest growing US state during that period, according to the Census Bureau. Kelman pointed to recent analysis by Redfin It found that more than a third of Utah homes face what the company classifies as “high risk of fire.”

“I think the idea that climate change will be accounted for in the way people think about housing has not yet happened. [actuaries], the people who need to calculate the cost of insuring this property, ”said Kelman, who has led Redfin for nearly 15 years.

“It will become more difficult to get insurance, it will be more difficult to get a loan for this property, because lenders will see the writing on the wall that this collateral is at risk,” he added.

Natural disasters are costly. In January, Munich Re insurer estimated a record number of hurricanes, wildfires and floods that led to $ 210 billion in damage worldwide.

Kelman comments On Friday, several regions of the US are struggling with weather disasters. In California, crews fight a couple of massive firesknown as the Kaldor and Dixie fires, the last of which second largest in recorded state history… The fires have forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Other parts of the US are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which hit the coast in Louisiana on Sunday. As of Friday afternoon, nearly 850,000 utility consumers were without electricity. according to the State Civil Service Commission

Ida, turned into a tropical storm, headed north and hit the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, including Maryland, New Jersey and New York. New York experienced record rainfall on Wednesday night, resulting in flash flooding. demonstrated how vulnerable The infrastructure in the country’s most populous city is linked to climate change.

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