Apr 9, 2024 - News

Climate change will shape Indianapolis homebuying

Percentage change in the average number of properties in significant-risk flood zones, 2023 to 2053
Data: First Street Foundation; Map: Axios Visuals

The share of Marion County properties with a significant risk of flooding is projected to increase by more than 7% in the next 30 years, according to the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

Why it matters: Of roughly 4,600 prospective homebuyers Zillow surveyed nationwide last spring, over 80% said they considered at least one climate risk when shopping.

  • Homebuyers in the Midwest were less concerned than those in other regions, though, with just 77% considering at least one risk, Zillow found.

State of play: Real estate websites are sharing more climate risk information with buyers and sellers.

Threat level: Nearly 45% of U.S. homes face severe or extreme damage from environmental threats, according to a new report from Realtor.com.

What they're saying: "It's vitally important that consumers have this information when they're making decisions about where to live," Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said at an SXSW panel this month announcing the website's new features, which use First Street data.

  • Those looking at a home can see its potential exposure to different climate risks with scores and maps.

Between the lines: Climate change threatens to make homeownership more expensive, said Matthew Eby, First Street founder and CEO, at the event.

Zoom in: By 2053, nearly 33,000 Marion County properties would have a significant flood risk, which First Street defines as a 1% chance of being flooded annually based on the historic observations in that area.

  • Boone and Hamilton counties will see the number of properties with significant flooding risk increase by more than 8%.
  • The increase is nearly 8% in Johnson County and 6% of properties in Hancock and Hendricks counties.

What's next: Climate risks aren't the only consideration when buying a new home, but more shoppers might want to know about home improvements made to mitigate against extreme weather, Hale said at the event.

Go deeper: Indianapolis budget aims to make city more climate resilient


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