We’re being told that sea levels are on the rise, but that hasn’t slowed down the Aussie love affair with seaside homes. I’ve mentioned before that I thought low-lying coastal homes could drop in value in a big way if sea levels start rising, but people are still willing to spend a lot of money on a seaside property.
Down in Sydney the suburb of Narrabeen is deemed the one most likely to see the effects of rising sea levels:
“… a sea level rise of just 20 centimetres combined with a one-in-50 year storm would erode the dunes at the famous Sydney surf beach and push the shoreline back by more than 100 metres, according to a confidential draft United Nations report leaked to the Herald.”
– Life’s a beach, and then it disappears: The Sydney Morning Herald
Yet last month a property in Narrabeen sold for over $4 million, a rise of 20% since 2005. At the moment the threat of an ocean-generated disaster seems to be generations away, although oceanographer Dr John Hunter, from the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart suggests that it might be closer than we think. Although there is talk of sea level rises of as little as 18cm – which sounds pretty small – the fact is that for every 1cm rise in sea level the beach will retreat by 1 metre, and that’s massive.