When talking about housing, “underwater” usually means you owe more on a mortgage than the home is actually worth. If climate change continues apace, that term could take on a much more literal meaning.
Rising sea levels could soak homeowners for $882 billion, according to a new report from real estate website Zillow. The research takes its initial cue from the journal Nature, which in March found sea levels could rise more than 6 feet by the end of the century. In that scenario, Florida could lose close to 1 million homes, or 13 percent of the state’s current stock. That comes out to $400 billion in value—a figure that doesn’t include losses to commercial buildings or public infrastructure or account for future appreciation in home value.