All but two of the world’s 100 most expensive waterfront homes are located in the United States, a New Jersey-based company has concluded. The findings from a new global survey suggest that the number of most expensive real estate properties worldwide is “already having a significant impact on the global economy,” according to the real estate company Halton Property.
“We found that while coastal cities have borne the brunt of the issue, lakes, rivers and salt marshes are now becoming significantly more affected by the impact of climate change,” Keith MacDonald, Halton’s global head of research, told CNN.
At least 58 of the largest waterfront properties are in Australia, according to the survey, as the country’s agricultural industries and tourism destinations have been hit particularly hard by flooding. And according to NPR, most of the properties in Western Australia have been affected by recent floods in the state’s South West.
“Western Australia has already been hit quite hard by this year’s floods and we’re all feeling the effect of the damaged property owners’ frustration and the hundreds of millions of dollars in damage they’ve incurred. Insurance payouts are already out of control,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview.
Most waterfront property in Australia is public, a policy that dates back to the country’s rural economic development and helped to keep costs for home insurance low. However, from a public policy perspective, the country’s booming property market made this policy unsustainable, as evidenced by the recent drop in tax revenue from property taxes.
A BBC analysis earlier this year found that property values in some major Australian cities have nearly doubled over the past five years. However, the amount of tax revenue generated by property taxes is actually projected to drop 13 percent, as properties in public ownership now make up a much larger part of the market.
As Fairfax Media reports, the actual infrastructure problems caused by flooding and urban development are not being properly addressed, a potential motivation behind the government’s decision to retrofit other public buildings and roads in the South West with flood protection measures. But Australia’s ability to limit the damage from the floods will take a long time, and there is no time to waste, as the country is again preparing for floods this coming spring.
Read the full story at CNN.
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