Why Real Estate Stakeholders Should No More Ignore Climate Change?


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    Nothing sounds fancier than a sea-facing apartment or even better a villa in Mumbai or Goa. While such properties come at a hefty price as they usually fall in premium segment, HNI buyers also leave no stone unturned to acquire such homes. Clearly, Indian real estate stakeholders, both sellers as well as buyers, are paying no attention to the widespread imminent threat of climate change.

    A beach house is still an alluring idea in India. While the rest of the world is awakening to dangers of rising sea levels and imprudence of not choosing one, such properties sell like hot cakes here. In the U.S. real estate sector, properties near sea are already seeing a dip in the demand and thus in the value due to damages and inconvenience caused by fast rising sea level.

    Climate change is here and happening. West Bengal has lost 99 sq km of land in the past 26 years, making up 63% of the state’s coastline and equivalent to the area occupied by 18,500 football fields.

    To add to the problem, India’s coasts are under attack both from man-made activities- such as growing construction, damming of rivers, and destruction of mangroves- as well as natural causes linked to climate change such as rising sea levels. Chennai saw a massive tsunami in 2004 after which the city’s sea facing property market plummeted overnight.

    Constructing and maintaining a home near beach has its own issues. The material used must withstand heavy moisture, rains and floods while such properties should also be protected with additional insurance to combat flood like situation.

    As contrary to other parts of the world, the demand for sea facing properties in Mumbai is still very high. Here are some to the things that real estate stakeholders must be aware of when it comes to sea-facing homes:

    • Developers should increasingly create fully elevated structures with the provision of electricity backup and generators on higher floors.
    • Rising water levels also cause structural damage to properties within the immediate flooding influence zone, making them unsafe. Such properties require regular maintenance.
    • The construction material used must withstand heavy moisture and rains, floods,
    • Such structures need proper reinforcement, waterproofed electrical systems, flood barriers, deeper and reinforced foundations and even relocated ductwork.
    • Buyers should check with local administration if they have any provisions to protect the city from future incidents of flooding.

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