Buyers given chance to assess a home’s climate risk on property portal


A major US property portal has given buyers the ability to assess prospective property purchases according to how at risk they are for fire, flood and from extreme heat, air quality and wind.

To help those buyers analyse those environmental risk factors, Realtor.com has launched three new climate risk factor scores on its website.

Realtor.com uses data from First Street, a leading climate technology company with expertise in climate change and the connection of climate risk to financial risk, to calculate property-level climate risk into easily digestible and easy to understand information.

Home buyers and sellers can now more fully understand the climate risk associated with a property through maps illustrating exposure to risk factors. 

They can toggle between factors to see how a particular risk may affect the home’s area in the present and over time, showing current exposure to risks and the expected change for each risk in 15 years, and in 30 years, the length of a typical mortgage.  

Realtor.com Chief Product and Technology Officer Mausam Bhatt said the platform already offered users an in-depth look at fire and flood risks and had now added heat, wind and air risk scores.

He said 40.4 per cent of homes in the US, valued at US$19.7 trillion, were at severe or extreme risk when it comes to heat, wind and air quality.

“When you consider the percentage of American homes, and the value at risk, against factors like extreme heat, air quality and wind, it was imperative for us to deliver more robust and comprehensive climate risk information to our users,” he said.

“It’s important for people to fully understand the climate risks that a home faces not only in the present, but in the future, so they can make the most informed decision for one of the biggest purchases and investments they will make in their life.”

Heat 2
Source: Realtor.com

For the extreme heat, buyers can access property-level information that displays a heat risk score between 1-10 (minimal to extreme). 

They can see how many days the property area experiences a heat index (measured as temperature and humidity) at or above the local definition of a “hot day” and they can see the average high “feels like” temperature in the typical hottest month, today and 30 years into the future. 

In 2024, about 32.5 per cent of homes in the US, valued at nearly US$13.6 trillion, will face severe or extreme risk of heat exposure.

Wind factor assesses property-level risk measured as the chance a property will be exposed to wind gusts exceeding 50mph (80kmh) at least once, and scores it from 1-10 (minimal to extreme), today and 30 years into the future. 

This year, about 18.1 per cent of homes in the US, valued at nearly US$7.7 trillion, will face severe or extreme risk of hurricane wind damage.

Air Factor assigns a property-level air risk score from 1-10 (minimal to extreme) and shows consumers the expected change in poor air quality days (Air Quality Index over 100), today and 30 years into the future.  

About 9 per cent of homes in the US, valued at nearly US$6.6 trillion, will face severe or extreme air quality risk in 2024.



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