Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc

Study Shows Access to Flood Data Affects Homebuyers’ Purchase Decisions

 Thursday, September 22, 2022

 Insurance Information Institute

Behavior change at many levels is key to addressing the rising human and economic costs associated with climate risk. But change is hard, and actionable data is essential to supporting the case for change.

Recent research by online real estate company Redfin shows that providing consumers with flood risk information about listed properties affects how they shop for homes, as well as what houses they will bid on.

Redfin conducted a three-month randomized controlled trial involving 17.5 million of its users, half of which had access to property-level flood-risk scores.

Users who viewed homes with an average flood-risk score of 8.5 (severe/extreme risk) and then were given access to flood risk data went on to bid on homes with an average score of 3.9 (moderate risk). By comparison, users who viewed homes with an average score of 8.5 -- but did not get access to such data -- went on to bid on homes with an average score of 8.5.

‘We now have definitive evidence that the risks posed by climate change are affecting where Americans choose to live,’ said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. ‘Before Redfin’s experiment, that was just a hypothesis.’

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