WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Whether you're a firm believer in climate change or a denier, a study leaves little doubt that sea level rise has already had an effect on beach property values.
On Thursday afternoon's WECT News Now, Steven McAlpine and Jeremy Porter, researchers at First Street Foundation, discussed findings from a study that determined beach property values in North and South Carolina have lowered by $1.6 billion.
McAlpine and Porter checked five and a half million property transactions from 2005-17 and used information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers to reach this conclusion.
"(We determined) which homes were at elevations that were at risk for flooding or near roads that were at risk," McAlpine said. "That roads element is a key component because a lot of that value that's lost is being near a road that floods."
The study found property value loss due to sea level rise in North Carolina was $582 million. It was $1.1 billion in South Carolina.
McAlpine and Porter are hopeful community, state and federal leaders will use the information to address issues associated with flooding and climate change.
"One of the biggest drivers of home value loss are roads that are flooding," McAlpine said. "It's important that people can get to and from their homes and get to important places like hospitals.
"If people are uniting to advocate that things are being done for roads near their homes, they can get to where they need to be and preserve their home values."