wind turbines

© edb3_16 - AdobeStock

Climate Change a Factor for Younger Buyers

April 6, 2021

Rising sea levels and natural disasters may be sparking enough concern among homeowners that they’re considering moving, and it may be factored into homebuying decisions, too.

A new survey of 2,000 U.S. residents conducted by the real estate brokerage Redfin shows that Americans are increasingly factoring climate change into their decisions about where to live. About 75% of respondents say they would be hesitant to buy a home in an area with climate risk.

Furthermore, nearly half of the survey respondents who plan to move say natural disasters and extreme temperatures are factoring into their decision. Respondents between the ages of 35 to 44 were the most likely to say that natural disasters, extreme temperatures, and rising sea levels are playing a role in their decisions about where to move. Survey respondents 45 or older were the least likely to indicate those factors played a factor in their relocation decisions.

A bar chart showing which ages of younger Americans more likely to factor climate change into moving decisions

Respondents in the Northeast, South, and West were the most likely to say that climate change was a relocation factor for them. Those in the Midwest were the least likely to factor in climate change into their relocation decisions, the survey finds.

“Climate change is making certain parts of the country less desirable to live in,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “As Americans leave places that are frequently on fire or at risk of going underwater, the destinations that don’t face those risks will become increasingly competitive and expensive for home buyers.”

A bar chart showing three-quarters of Americans are hesitant to buy homes in climate-risk areas