Believing in Climate Change Makes Housing Cheaper

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The climate crisis has not come with many upsides. Extinctions, droughts, floods, polar vortices, upticks in natural disasters — all of it can be traced to global warming. Those realities exist whether or not you believe they're manmade; it may surprise you to know that belief in climate change can affect your mortgage, though.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have just published these weird findings. According to a press release, "climate experts predict that approximately two percent of U.S. homes — worth $882 billion — are at risk of being underwater by 2100; in low-lying coastal regions such as Florida and Hawaii, between 10 and 12 percent of homes could be inundated." And yet, the homes projected to be underwater by the end of the century are selling for 7 percent more than those in "believer" neighborhoods.

"If everyone were to say, 'I'm not buying beachfront property here because it's going to get flooded,' then prices would collapse," said study coauthor Markus Baldauf. "But if you don't believe in climate change, you might say, 'You guys are crazy. Climate change isn't a real thing, so I see a buying opportunity.'"

The researchers' methodology is a little more complicated than "homeowners still want beachfront properties," but it could be one more data point to look to the middle of the country for your forever home. Better yet, consider investing in a real-life hobbit hole: They're high, they're dry, and assuming you don't know any wizards, likely to stay extremely cozy no matter what.