October 2017 Fort Lauderdale – Tooling down the A1A.
Bloomberg recently published a news story about a business man in southern Florida named Ross Hancock who was having bad luck coping with the area’s high tide flood problems. Florida State officials pooh-pooh the idea that climate change exits – in fact, Governor Rick Scott’s administration will fire any state worker who even uses the phrase. Yet, the ocean levels around Florida mysteriously have risen year after year – some say pretty much as predicted by those climate changer fake news people – which leads to localized flooding once a month when a king tide hits. King tides happen during those couple of days each month when there is a full moon.
“I’ve not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change,” Governor Rick Scott
Even though Governor Scott said it couldn’t happen, Ross lived in an area of Coral Gables that flooded each time of the month a full moon came out. The city’s response was to start raising the levels of the streets by a foot to keep the cars dry as well as to construct a high powered storm sewer system that would blow water back into the ocean (up hill!!). Ross’s decided it was time to sell his house which he did four years ago.
Ross moved his family into a high rise condo on Key Biscayne. Key Biscayne is one of the higher patches of land in Miami; Ross figured he was safer here than anywhere else. But ‘high ground’ is relative in Miami where the average variance between sea level and land four miles inland is less than three feet. So in August, when Irma hit, the Key Biscayne shoreline was turned into a swimming pool for miles around. Ross’s condo was high enough to be undamaged but the condo building’s power systems, elevators and parking lots were heavily damaged. His share of the cost to fix things came out to be around $60K. Once the damage is repaired, Ross plans to move again – to really higher ground, 10s of miles north of southern Florida and the coast.
Fake Data from the Corp of Engineers and the Weather Service.
Florida has always been run by land sharks and swindlers looking to sell swamp land to the idiots. Of course climate change doesn’t exist. Talk to any real estate agent about buying a property in Miami, and not one will say a word about tidal flooding. If you bring it up, they say the probability of it happening to ‘this property’ (this property being any property you name) is negligible and besides, everyone has cheap flood insurance and you know those insurance companies wouldn’t sell cheap flood insurance if there were actual floods, wink-wink, poke-poke. The industry’s state wide trade group, Florida Real Estate, tows the governor’s line – nope, we got no climate change goin’ on down here. Nope. Nope.
What the real estate agents don’t tell you is that flood insurance availability is mandated by the state legislature in order for insurers to do business in Florida. That state underwrites catastrophic losses which they have historically covered through disaster relief grants from the Federal government. At the end of the day, the insurers make money, the State doesn’t ante up a nickel and the real estate industry thrives.
But all of this is bound to unravel and likely pretty soon. Irma caused over 190 billions in damage. U.S. Taxpayers will cover most of that but it is likely insurers are going take some hits. The insurers are in with the swindlers but they don’t believe the swindler’s pitch. They know the oceans are warming, the seas are rising and that cyclic violent weather is one result. Irma was not a once in a lifetime thing – Irma is what the new normal looks like. Insurers are going to raise their rates. What the property owners don’t pay, taxpayers will. At some point, someone will say ouch.
Zillow says in 30 years, 200,000 homes in the Miami area will be underwater (not flooded, under). Talk about trying to get a 30 year mortgage on those guys. The number goes up to half a million by 2090. Yea it seems a long time from now but wait one generation – when your young toddlers are looking for their first house – well there are going to be some awesome deals around for nice beach front properties that they can buy and then just discard in ten years.
Raising Fthe highways two feet in Miami Beach.
Coral Gables figures they can avoid things for a while by raising the roads and pumping water back into the ocean faster than it can flow in. Miami is doing the same thing. The mayor of Miami Beach is proposing 400 million dollar levy to get homeowners to pony up the money. It’s that or just sit there and watch you house float away. The mayor will likely get his money.
It is not hard to see how the real estate market in sourthern Florida is about ready to tank big time. Insurance rates will sky rocket over the next five years, property taxes will jump to pay for new highways, big pumps and flood walls, and the ocean will inevitably creep higher and higher each year reclaiming a yard of shore here, a couple feet there. Each year, every year. And it will happen real quietly because everyone in charge loses if people start to decide to move out in groves.
Ross Hancock is a smart dude. He expects to take a loss when he sells the condo. But a lot of people believe the swindle and one of them will buy it. His realtor told him so.