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The Next Economy
Over 90% of US Adults Think Climate Change Will Inevitably Impact the Real Estate Market

3 in 5 say climate risks have already impacted their decision on where to live; but housing prices and cost of living are still bigger factors.

New survey data reveals that the vast majority (87 percent) of US adults believes climate change poses a risk to the world. The findings come as the effects of climate change are becoming ever more visible around the world — think recent catastrophic flooding from Australia to Kentucky to Pakistan, and record-breaking heatwaves across Western Europe and the Western US, to name a few recent instances.

The new report from Anytime Estimate — an online real estate education platform owned by Clever Real Estate — surveyed 1,000 US adults and found that only 6 percent don't believe climate change exists. The most common reasons cited by non-believers are that they see it as a made-up political issue (43 percent) or they think it is a natural cycle of the Earth and not caused by humans (40 percent).

80 percent of respondents who have accepted our collective role in exacerbating climate change indicated that they would be willing to make personal sacrifices to help combat it — such as using less electricity (59 percent) or fewer plastic products (61 percent), reducing the amount of water they use (48 percent), eating less meat (40 percent) and driving less (35 percent). 97 percent report they are already taking at least one action.

Climate change’s impact on real estate

Getting down to what was likely the real reason for the survey, 93 percent of respondents believe that climate change will impact the already-volatile real estate market. About half expect homes and home insurance to become more expensive due to the impact of natural disasters. In fact, the likelihood of disasters has played a role for 3 in 5 people in deciding where to move. Recognizing this growing risk, in 2021 real estate platform Redfin began providing climate-risk data for every location it lists — providing 30-year trend information for wildfires, extreme heat, droughts and storms to better inform prospective home buyers on the climate impacts facing particular areas.

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Despite this, the study found that cost of living and housing prices still win out as top priorities during a housing search: The majority (63 percent) of respondents remain open to buying a home in a more at-risk area if the short-term financial costs remain low.

Regardless, respondents anticipate climate change will have impacts far beyond real estate — 1 in 3 US adults believes that our attempts at climate action now will be too little, too late — with more than half (57 percent) believing that Earth will become uninhabitable within 500 years.

Government needs to do more

While unsure about our chances of surviving climate change long term, most US adults surveyed are willing to do their part to help; and 73 percent think the US government needs to do more — and politicians should take heed: 3 in 4 respondents say their views on climate change have some impact on the way they vote in elections. Only 1 in 4, however, support raising taxes to address the issue.