Apr 30, 2024 - News

Where Virginia homes face flood risk in next 30 years

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 Richmond properties with a significant risk of flooding is projected to increase by 7% in the next 30 years, according to the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

  • That could impact more than 5,100 city properties.

Why it matters: An extreme flooding risk is likely to affect people's daily lives and threaten access to emergency services, per First Street.

By the numbers: All Richmond-area localities face a projected increase in the number of homes facing flooding risk, but none are seeing more than a 5% jump, per the First Street data.

  • It's a different story for Virginians near the coastline, especially those in Hampton Roads and the Northern Neck.
  • York County has the biggest projected increase in the state at 62%, followed by Hampton (61%), Westmoreland (59%), Northumberland (55%) and Norfolk (53%).
  • Only 12 localities will face less flood risk. Most are in Southwest Virginia.

State of play: Of the roughly 4,600 prospective homebuyers Zillow surveyed nationwide last spring, over 80% said they considered at least one climate risk when looking for a home.

  • In the South, it was 79%.

Zoom in: Real estate websites have begun sharing more climate risk information with buyers and sellers.

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

Between the lines: Climate change threatens to make homeownership more expensive, said Matthew Eby, First Street founder and CEO, at an SXSW panel last month.

Go deeper: The climate change real estate bubble risks billions.


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