Sea Level Rise Could Flood 1.9 Million U.S. Homes by 2100

An estimated 1.9 million U.S. homes could be flooded by 2100 if seas rise 6 feet in response to climate change, according to a new analysis by the real estate company Zillow. The affected properties are valued at $916 billion dollars and represent 1.8 percent of the country’s housing stock.

The report, published last week, finds that without climate resiliency measures such as sea walls, the majority of flooded homes will be moderate- or lower-priced properties. High-end real estate accounts for 39 percent of at-risk houses.

“While the damage caused by recent hurricanes is a devastating reminder of how quickly the weather can undo people’s lives and destroy their homes, the potential for damage from a slower-moving phenomenon could be even more destructive,” the report says.

Zillow also analyzed which communities stand to lose the most property to sea level rise. In Miami, more than 24 percent of homes — valued at $217 billion — are at risk of flooding with 6 feet of sea level rise. Florida could lose more than 908,000 homes. In Upper Township, New Jersey, Zillow found that nearly 57 percent of the housing stock, with a value of $29 billion, could be inundated.

While cities often receive the most attention when it comes to sea level rise impacts, the Zillow report found that the majority of flooded properties — 1.1 million — will be located in suburban ZIP codes.

See images below for more detail on how sea level rise will impact specific communities and cities across the U.S. Graphics courtesy of Zillow.