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UNINHABITABLE: How climate change will impact where you live

·4-min read
A bush fire, a house built on a beach front and houses built on cliff edges in Australia.
The Aussie property market is set to change forever if climate change continues to worsen (Source: Getty)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a shocking report this week about the future of our world should climate change worsen.

But how will this affect where and how we live?

The IPCC report outlined what would happen around the country if there were to be an increase in overall global temperatures by 1.4, 2 and 4 degrees celsius.

For Australia, even a small increase in global temperatures means the country will get hotter, there will be more floods and seas will rise. This can lead to unliveable heat and coastal erosion changing where we’re able to live forever.

Dr Pierre Wiart, CoreLogic’s Head of Consulting and Risk Management Solutions told Yahoo Finance what was most concerning is that climate change is accelerating at its fastest pace in 2,000 years.

“We know from this report climate risks are not going to diminish, they're only going to increase. The report is quite clear in its conclusion that the trends we’ve seen in the past are even more likely to occur in the future.”

Wiart said being aware of those risks is the first step and identifying and evaluating these risks should be a priority as we navigate the increase in extreme climate-related hazards.

“Consumers, home owners, banks and insurers all need to be aware of the risks these events pose, and the impact it will have on property,” he said.

This is how Australia’s property market might be affected by the extreme climate conditions.

East coast of Australia - No more coastal homes

Those living on the eastern coast of the country should prepare themselves for less, but much more extreme rain, the report found.

This means properties situated in premium beachfront locations are most at threat.

According to Nature Climate Change, Australia is the most affected country by beach erosion in the world.

It estimates 11,426 kilometres of coastline are threatened, and 40 per cent of beaches might be lost.

“In Australia, historically we have seen high demand for waterfront properties and coastal markets. This type of housing generally shows a substantial price premium, however if the frequency or severity of inundation or climate impacts rise, it’s reasonable to assume demand in these locations would be gradually negatively impacted,” Wiart said.

“Also, higher insurance premiums could become a growing disincentive for properties exposed to coastal risk.”

Last year, multi-million dollar homes on NSW Central Coast started falling into the ocean due to coast erosion.

Residents in more than 40 houses along Wamberal Beach had to evacuate after the cliffs they sat on began to crumble away due to large ocean swells.

Southern Australia - Energy efficient homes will be key

The report predicts there will be a substantial decrease in rainfall and increase in long-lasting drought which will make the region arid.

The South Australian government has said heat waves have caused more death in Australia than any other natural hazard.

For this reason, energy efficient homes will be in high demand. Those that have access to solar panels and renewable energy will help keep you cool and not run up your energy bills.

Homes that have access to their own water supply would also be in high demand as low rainfall will have a big impact on water supply.

“The report is quite clear that the trends we’ve seen in the past are more emphasised, for Australia – drought episodes will occur more frequently, with greater intensity, and the same for extreme precipitation which will lead to floods,” Wiart said.

Northern Australia - Landlocked homes will be in demand

The IPCC report said those in Northern Australia can expect heavy rainfall and more intense tropical cyclones.

Homes that are situated near rivers will be caught in the crosshairs, so moving away from water will be important.

Not only that but sturdy homes will be important with more intense natural disasters like tropical cyclones to become more apparent.

Central Australia - The heat will be unliveable

The report highlights the extreme heat that will sweep over Central Australia making it near uninhabitable.

Interestingly, there may also be an increase in rainfall which could change the usually arid landscape.

Central Australia already pushes temperatures of up to 40 degrees but the report suggests that this could reach up to 50 degrees celsius regularly.

“For Australia, the report highlights extreme hazards are going to be more recurrent, and what we have observed in Europe during the current summer with unprecedented floods in Germany followed by raging bush fires in Greece is the kind of scenario that could also be observed more frequently in Australia,” Wiart said.

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