Buy high, sell low
January 29, 2015 2:30 PM Subscribe
Treading Water by Laura Parker [National Geographic]
Phil Stoddard, in his third term as mayor of South Miami, is one of the few politicians willing to talk about when that time might come... He drew a graph with three lines that show population, property values, and sea level all rising. Then abruptly, population growth and property values plummet. “Something is going to upset the applecart,” he says. “A hurricane, a flood, another foot of sea rise, the loss of freshwater. People are going to stop coming here and bail.”
He thinks a real estate sell-off is inevitable. Before that happens, he wants his constituents to be informed. “People ask me this question, ‘I’m X years old. I have X amount of net worth in my house. What should I do?’ I say, ‘If you need the value of that house to retire or to live on, then you want to cash out at some point. It doesn’t have to be this year. But don’t wait 20 years.’ ”
Not long ago Stoddard attended a meeting where Wanless presented his analysis showing that the accelerating disintegration of the ice sheets will lead to a more rapid rise of sea levels—faster and higher than the federal government’s projections. That night, as Stoddard and his teenage daughter walked on moonlit Miami Beach, he shared what he’d heard.
“She went silent, and then said to me, ‘I won’t be living here, will I?’ And I said, ‘No, you won’t.’ Kids get it. Do you think we should tell their parents?”
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments