Sea level rise risk interactions with coastal property values: a case study of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

Climate Adaptation, Mountain-to-Sea Resource Management, Makena Coffman, Nori Tarui, Environment, Housing, Publications

Abstract: Climate change-induced sea level rise (SLR) will affect a range of coastal assets and prompt difficult decisions about coastal land use across the world. Several recent studies find that current and projected SLR is associated with relatively lower property values. We contribute to this growing body of research with a case study of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, which is famed for its beaches as well as valuable coastal real estate. We leverage a dataset that unpacks multiple types of SLR exposure and coastal parcel attributes. We apply property transaction data for the island of O‘ahu through 2019 to investigate the effect of current and expected SLR exposure on residential property prices. We find that exposed properties have already experienced declines in transaction prices, at 9 to 14%, attributed to expectations of exposure to chronic inundation (as opposed to seasonal flooding). The price declines are mainly for multi-dwelling homes as opposed to single family homes. The market response of residential properties to SLR has important implications for coastal management strategies, in particular the viability and timing of programs for retreat.

Tarui, N., Urbanski, S., Lam, Q.L. et al. Sea level rise risk interactions with coastal property values: a case study of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Climatic Change 176, 130 (2023).

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