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How will global warming impact beachfront real estate?

How will global warming impact beachfront real estate?

I’m sitting on the beach in Bali, sun blazing and reading a New York Times article about rising seas levels and how waterfront homes are now at risk?  It’s hard not to take a hard look at the sea and imagine the waves pushing closer and closer to the edge of my seat. I take a moment to push back my chair just in case.

There is of course the naysayers like Donald Trump who is now on track to be crowned POTUS, or for those of you not trendy with verbiage tag lines, the upcoming President of the United States. In the past he has said the Chinese are behind the hoax and that rising global waters are not real. There is little doubt he is wrong. The tide is rising.

On the real estate front, over the past few decades perhaps Malibu’s swank and quickly eroding oceanfront multi-million dollar cliffhangers are one of the best examples of life on the edge. Or the battering the posh Australian seaside North of Sydney is taking these days. Erosion, sand bags, sea walls and every manner of structural fixits are now on display.

Still we can look at the nearby Maldives where leading resort Soneva Fushi has managed to capital property buyers interest in a substantial number of ultra-villa sales over the period of a few years. Enter Soneva Jani, which is a rising sister property and again real estate sales are starting to stack up.

Is the real estate sector in denial? Maybe not, as the reality is that oceanfront properties remain a keen object of desire, yes we are starting to see newer properties start to elevate, push back and address the possibility of flooding by rising tides.

Sitting in the back seat of this evolving landscape all I can say is the future is indeed in for an altered state. Perhaps property investors have become accustomed to so many wild card risks from politics, earthquakes, natural and man-made disasters (did someone say Trump?) that a sort of euphoria has kicked in, or else a massive sedative. That said, let’s hope beachfront does not become the next Pompeii and we all have to wait for the movie.

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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements at key events and spends substantial time with his feet on the ground on research projects and gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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