News of Climate Change Hasn’t Reached the Real Estate Media

Anyone else notice something off-kilter about Curbed’s recent analysis, in its article about an architecturally “ho-hum” house on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, that the $15,800,000 price tag is justified by its “location, location, location?”

Yes, the view toward the ocean is beautiful. Yes, it’s got a private set of stairs to the beach.

But the article made no mention of the fact that, as The New York Times stated in March of this year, “severe coastal flooding could occur regularly in the United States by the middle of the century and [] California would be among the states most affected.” (See “Both Coasts Watch Closely as San Francisco Faces Erosion.”) Nor does it mention the California report (cited in the same article) that predicts sea level rises of seven inches by 2030 (that’s 18 years away, folks) and 14 inches by 2050. How convenient, those private stairs may someday lead straight into the water!

Wouldn’t you think the prospect of watching extreme weather through a lovely set of plate glass windows would reduce the value of the location just a tad? Even the climate change deniers will have trouble denying the public’s reduced interest in property that looks to be at risk. Someday, I would expect, climate change will be part of the discussion of any piece of waterfront property. In the meantime, let’s all just focus on the ho-hum architecture.