Led by homeowners and renters in the Northeast, more than a quarter of Americans say they want to or have already moved due to the recent spate of fires, floods and hurricanes, according to a new report by Redfin.
The survey found that 27 percent of Americans said the natural disasters made them want to move, 23 percent said they like where they live more and half said it has had no impact.
“Climate change still doesn’t feel like an immediate threat to a lot of people, but as more folks come face to face with wildfires, hurricanes and floods, we’ll see an increase in the number of Americans who consider moving due to natural disasters,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “Climate change could also become a bigger factor in the homebuying process if insurance companies stop offering coverage in catastrophe-prone areas.”
Wildfires have ravaged the West, and a record number of hurricanes and tropical storms have battered the eastern half of the nation – particularly the Gulf Coast – this year. Many of the storms and wildfires have brought emergency evacuation orders, causing disruption to Americans in an already highly disruptive year.
A third of those surveyed in the Northeast said that recent natural disasters have made them want to move away from where they currently live or have changed where they want to move to. That compares with 28 percent of respondents in the South, 27 percent in the West and 23 percent in the Midwest. Overall, Redfin surveyed 3,000 people in the United States.
“Everyone here is in shock. You always hear about people evacuating because of the wildfires in California, but you never think it will actually happen to you,” said Maryam Amiri, a real estate agent in California. “The attitude right now is that everything will be fine and go back to normal in a few days. I called every single one of my clients who is close to closing a deal on a home, and all of them said they’re comfortable with moving forward.”