How climate change affects where millennials get mortgages

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The majority of young adults and consumers in coastal housing markets claim climate change will affect their homes or communities, which could influence where they consider buying a house, according to Zillow.

This comes after a joint study by Zillow and Climate Central flagged 800,000 homes worth $450 billion for being at risk of 10-year flood inundation by 2050, and follows another Zillow report claiming nearly half a million California homes are in danger of wildfires.

With a 62% share, millennials are most likely to expect to be affected by climate change and also comprise the largest cohort of homebuyers, giving them the potential to dictate purchase demand shifts to and from certain cities.

Residents across all age groups in Miami, San Jose, Calif., and Los Angeles are among those most likely to anticipate being personally affected by climate change, while consumers in St. Louis, Detroit and Philadelphia are among the least likely, according to Zillow.

Comparatively, about 51% of people between 35 and 54 shared similar sentiments on climate change personally affecting them, as well as 39% of those 55 and older.

"This survey confirms that millions of Americans are sensitive to the risks associated with climate change and believe they will face them in their lifetimes. Young adults are much more likely to recognize the reality of climate-change-related risks to their homes and communities," Skylar Olsen, director of economic research at Zillow, said in a press release.

"Every month new evidence is brought to light about the risks ranging from rising temperatures to more frequent floods to wildfires, and people are hearing the message. Even across age groups and political lines, there is at least a consensus that when you are in a hole the first step is to stop digging, in this case by not continuing to build new homes in high-risk areas," Olsen said.

While opinions on climate change vary, a vast majority (71%) of consumers overall would support new laws preventing developers from constructing in areas at high risk of natural disasters, according to Zillow. About 62% would back the idea of making structural improvements to housing to minimize damage potential, and 59% would support a disaster insurance requirement for homeowners in high-risk areas.

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Climate change Natural disasters Purchase Housing market Homebuilders Zillow