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Most homebuyers consider climate risks when buying, survey finds

Most homebuyers say they now factor in potential extreme and severe weather events when purchasing a home, a new survey finds.
Most homebuyers consider climate risks when buying, survey finds
Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 05, 2023

A new survey from Zillow found that extreme and severe weather can have a huge impact on home ownership, which is why 83% of homebuyers say they factor in climate risks when purchasing a house. 

The survey indicated that buyers in the Western U.S. were most likely to factor in climate concerns. Nearly 90% of homebuyers in the West say they factor in climate risks. Those in the Midwest are least likely to factor in climate risks, but those who don't consider climate risks account for fewer than 1 out of 4 homebuyers. 

The No. 1 climate concern of new homebuyers is flooding. Nearly 41% of homebuyers say they factor in floods. Other top concerns include extreme heat (37%), wildfires (37%), hurricanes (33%) and drought (31%). 

About 49% of homebuyers said they're moving to areas with the same climate risks, while 27% say they're moving to an area with more risks. Nearly 23% say there are fewer risks where they are moving. 

"Climate risks impact where most prospective buyers shop for a home," said Zillow senior population scientist Manny Garcia. "While all generations juggle trade-offs like budget, floor plans and commute times, younger home shoppers are more likely to face another consideration: They want to know if their home will be safe from rising waters, extreme temperatures and wildfires."

SEE MORE: As climate change worsens, Americans struggle to escape its impacts

One major factor for homeowners to consider is the cost of insurance. For instance, several companies won't sell policies in parts of California citing the state’s wildfire risk.

"We paused new homeowners, condo and commercial insurance policies in California last year so we can continue to protect current customers," Allstate said earlier this year. "The cost to insure new home customers in California is far higher than the price they would pay for policies due to wildfires, higher costs for repairing homes, and higher reinsurance premiums."

Earlier this year, AAA and Farmers Insurance said some parts of Florida wouldn't be eligible for insurance due to the state's hurricane risk. 

AAA said in a statement that last year's hurricane season "drastically raised operational costs for providers."


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