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Over 1.5 million homes at risk of flooding by 2050

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Flooding could become a significant problem for many homeowners as a direct result of climate change
Over 1.5 million homes at risk of flooding by 2050

Five per cent of all properties in the UK currently fall into the highest flood risk category, but this is set to rise by one per cent in the next 30 years, said Hometrack.

And that means a further 300,000 homes will move into the highest risk category by 2050, said the analytics provider, with over 1.5 million homes at risk of flooding.

The stark warning comes as climate change will leave homes vulnerable to increased flooding from escalating coastal erosion. This means the problem will not only be limited to riverside properties.

According to ground risk consultancy Terrafirma, more than 800 buildings will be lost to coastal erosion within the next 20 years, while nearly 7,000 homes and properties will be at risk of falling into the sea across England and Wales over the next century.

Surge in sinkholes

There could also be flooding as a result of sinkholes and heavy downpours, such as those which overwhelmed drainage systems in Hammersmith earlier this year, said Hometrack.

The British Geological Society estimates that 32,000 sinkholes already exist across the country, with underground water causing dissolution, collapse and erosion. The sinkholes are responsible for millions of pounds in damage a year, and will only become a more persistent problem as the climate crisis continues.

Spencer Wyer, VP of product and technology at Hometrack, said: “Whilst the effects of climate change are well publicised, the direct impact of climate change on property valuation is a more challenging area for lenders.

“It’s become critical for lenders to understand the risk to their existing portfolios and many have addressed this. However lenders also need to consider how to stop taking on further risk at origination and the more challenging task is understanding the true impact of climate change on properties impacted by it. This is something we are focusing on to support lenders.“

Hometrack now offers a Climate Change Insight product to mortgage lenders to help them comply with the latest regulations in the context of climate change. Launched earlier this year, it has already been used to assess over a quarter of the UK’s property mortgage market for future climate risk.

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