Will a sea view knock thousands from your property’s value?

By Robin Christie | 08 Mar 2012

As a new report has highlights some well-known areas where new houses are at risk of being swept away by rising sea levels, concerns are being raised about the potential for thousands of dollars to be knocked off the value of coastal homes.

According to a report released this week by the National Sea Change Task Force, new homes worth hundreds of millions of dollars are being approved in some of the nation’s fastest growing coastal zones under local government planning controls that haven’t been updated to account for climate change impacts. The areas at risk include:

The report claims that pressures on these areas – with annual population growth rates that are more than double the national rate of 1.7% – are compounded by demand for second homes and the growth of tourism-related development.

“Of the estimated 711,000 homes located in the coastal zone, up to 35% are at risk of inundation under a sea level rise scenario of 1.1 metres,” said the report’s lead author and acting head of urban and regional planning at the University of Sydney Nicole Gurran.

“Council representatives also reported existing property owners expressing concerns about declining property values if particular properties are identified as being at risk, leading in some cases to maps showing at-risk properties not being made publicly available.”

The effect of predicted sea level rises on property values has been a hot topic this week, with property developer Jeff McCloy telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he was considering taking the Lake Macquarie Council to court in a class action suit for ''falling for this unjustified, worldwide idiocy about sea level rises''.

Claiming that the council’s new recommendations regarding sea level rises in the area could have drastic effects for local property values, he told the Herald, “this is about the poor little property owner who had had hundreds of thousands of dollars knocked off the value of their property".

Do climate change and natural disasters affect your property selection criteria? Have your say on our property investment forum.

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