Canada Real Estate News: Real Estate Industry in Coastal Areas Affected by the Rising of Sea-Levels

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on Nov 16, 2015 07:59 AM EST
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CANMORE, CANADA - JUNE 21: Houses along Cougar Creek show extensive damage after heavy flooding June 21, 2013 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands (Photo : John Gibson/Getty Images)

The possibility of the sea levels rising due to climate change has been affecting the real estate industry in the coastal areas of Canada.

            According to the report of the Toronto Star, property buyers are starting to get wary of the dangers of living in the coastal areas, and are starting to ask questions about their safety.

            It is only natural for prospective buyers to ask questions when it comes to their safety, especially when information about climate change and sea levels are not being disclosed to them during the transaction.

            Adam Fenech, director of the Climate Research Lab at the University of PEI, said that some property buyers come to see him at the university to see the Coastal Impacts Visualization Environment (CLIVE) demonstration.

             CLIVE is a project developed by Fenech and his colleagues at Simon Fraser University. It can generate a bird's eye view of how coastal areas will submerge overtime.  

            "I've had a lot of people come to my climate research lab insisting, sitting at the door, refusing to go away until I showed them," said Fenech. "Usually, they're about to sign some papers and want to know if a purchase is a good one to make."

            The insurance industry will also be affected by the rise of sea-levels. At present, property insurance only covers overland flooding and only if the damage results directly from a sewer back-up.

            The Toronto Star reported that since the signal from the federal government to explore options for a national approach to residential flood insurance, Aviva Canada and The Co-operators have started to introduce overland flood coverage, while RSA Canada is expected to follow.

            "The challenge for the insurance industry, like anything in finance, is that it bases its assumptions on the last 100 years," said Jason Thistlethwaite, a sustainable development professor at the University of Waterloo. "But history is no longer a reliable indicator. They're driving down the road by looking in the rear-view mirror."

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