Americans “are flocking to fire,” declares a new study documenting their decades-long migration to areas increasingly prone to extreme heat and wildfires. The attraction of these areas is well understood, but perhaps ignorance of the risks is also to blame?
“They’re attracted by maybe a beautiful forested mountain landscape and lower housing costs somewhere in the wildland-urban interface,” the paper’s lead author, University of Vermont environmental scientist Mahalia Clark, told Wired. “But they’re just totally unaware that wildfire is something they should even think about. That’s not really something that the realtor is going to tell them about, or that’s going to be on the real estate listing.”
But as Climate Alpha and others have found, when Americans are presented with data demonstrating the risks, they will take action. Before turning to disincentives and even managed retreat, as the study’s authors suggest, we need better tools for illuminating climate risks and affordable housing in more resilient regions. That’s why Climate Alpha has developed our risk-adjusted valuations for real estate — including residential property out to 2040 — and is working with customers such as Lennar to identify the fastest-growing markets of tomorrow. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how we transform risks into opportunities.
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