Two South Jersey towns make Zillow list of towns endangered by rising seas

Sea level rise could have a devastating effect on real estate properties in some coastal areas by the end of the century, a Zillow report predicts.

With hurricanes wreaking havoc from the Caribbean to Ireland, you might be excused for forgetting that climate change is about more than just intensifying weather events. Friendly reminder from Zillow: rising sea levels are happening, too. According to the real estate company’s latest report, residents in Egg Harbor Township and Upper Township in New Jersey may want to pay attention.

The report is an update to similar findings last year, which predicted dire financial losses in real estate values by 2100. Nationally, 1.9 million homes are projected to be swamped  if the ocean rises six feet by then — a number midway between a conservative estimate of 4.3 feet and the “cannot be excluded” prediction of 8 feet.

Of course, many coastal homes are among the most expensive in their regions, meaning cities like Miami could be facing enormous losses. Yet circumstances would be more dire for less-affluent homeowners who would face losing most of their net worth if seas rise as predicted.

Upper Township in Cape May County and Egg Harbor Township in Atlantic County are included Zillow’s top 20 areas likely to be hardest hit.

In Upper Township, the report found 45,757 homes would likely be under water by the end of the century — a staggering 56.6 percent of all homes, representing $29.3 billion in assets. The report also examined the distribution of home values, finding that they are relatively even between the lowest, highest and middle tiers.

In Egg Harbor, 27,288 homes would likely be underwater at $10.3 billion in assets, again distributed relatively evenly among the tiers, according to Zillow researchers.

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