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Reports & Research

Estimates of Changes in County-Level Housing Prices in the United States Under Scenarios of Future Climate Change

Oct 20, 2014

This peer-reviewed article, jointly authored by ICF International and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), examines the potential sensitivity of U.S. housing prices to changes in temperature, precipitation, and humidity projected under four possible scenarios of future climate change.

People in the United States generally prefer to live in areas with warmer average weather, higher winter temperatures, lower summer temperatures, and less precipitation. As the climate changes, shifts in these factors may affect the desirability of some locations as a place to live: Areas that become hotter and wetter in summer may become less attractive than they are today, while those that enjoy milder winters with less snow may become more desirable. These shifts in housing demand could influence home values, helping to drive up housing prices in some areas while pushing them down in others.

An EPA study found that climate-related impacts on housing prices by 2050 could range from an increase of 12 percent in some parts of the country to a decrease of 45 percent in others.