As debate over a proposed seawall at Wamberal Beach continues to rage, the suburb has been included on a list of the 20 NSW locations most likely to be affected by coastal erosion in the future.
The list has been compiled from a new tool which analyses coastal erosion, flooding and bushfire data to rank suburbs most at risk, not only today, but also in 30 years’ time, as a guide for homebuyers.
Groundsure ClimateIndex reports, available through InfoTrack, have put Wamberal at number 19 on the list, with Booker Bay also included at number 20.
The report for Wamberal says: “Multi-million dollar beachfront homes sit on a cliff which is eroding at a rate of over one metre per year.
“Sea level rise, increased storms and the effects from powerful future El Nino/La Nina events could all accelerate the demise of some seriously expensive investments”.
Groundsure CEO Dan Montagnani said while he didn’t predict the findings would impact property value in sought-after coastal locations, it was important homeowners and prospective buyers were aware of risks to best plan for the future.
“Climate change is already considered a Tier 1 risk by lenders on the impact to investment and value, and homeowners in some affected locations are already living with the consequences through higher insurance premiums,” he said.
“As the trend to a more rapidly warming climate continues, the sad reality is that homebuyers in some vulnerable locations will not be able to secure a full loan or insurance cover.
“It’s also hoped the reports will encourage impacted communities to consider infrastructure to improve their resilience.”
InfoTrack Global Head of Property John Ahern said the Groundsure reports were unique in that they provided property-specific assessments for individual residences, instead of broad regional ratings.
“They are specifically designed for property lawyers and conveyancers to do their due diligence and better inform buyers,” he said.
“Until now, climate change has not been front of mind, but a new generation of homebuyers is demanding insight on risks, to consider the potential long-term impact for their families and financial security.
“Homebuyers have a right to know what could lie ahead as they make the most expensive financial decision of their lives.”