Sea Level Rise Is Costing Texas Homeowners Millions In Property Values, Study Finds

Most of the impact is on the Houston-Galveston region.

A screenshot from the FloodiQ map.

From 2005 to 2017, homes along the Texas Gulf Coast lost more than $76 million in potential value due to tidal flooding, according to a study by First Street Foundation.

Nearly half of that loss in property value – $35 million – was from homes in five communities in the Greater Houston and Galveston area: Galveston, Jamaica Beach, Bolivar Peninsula and Nassau Bay.

"The northern part of the coastline in Texas from Port Arthur down to just south of Houston was where we saw the most loss," Columbia University lecturer and First Street Foundation data scientist Jeremy Porter said on Houston Matters. "And we didn't see as much loss on the southern part of the state."

Researchers looked at 3 million coastal properties in Texas and analyzed real estate transactions to estimate how much their value would have appreciated without frequent tidal flooding.

"We ended up developing a model that holds characteristics of homes and neighborhoods and market fluctuations over time constant, so that we can compare homes to another as if they were the same," Porter said.

"And when we do that, the only thing we add then is the negative amenity of flooding. And when we add the negative amenity of flooding, we see this year-over-year loss in terms of appreciation."

The Texas data adds to previous research by First Street Foundation and Columbia University. It now includes 18 East and Gulf Coast states from Maine to Texas.

The total loss of potential property values is $15.9 billion.

You can look at the numbers for individual communities here. And listen to the full conversation on Houston Matters in the audio below:

UPDATE: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect Columbia University’s role in the study.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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