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Realtors Unfazed by Sea Level Rise Forecast [AUDIO]

Despite warnings about sea level rise along New Jersey’s coastline in the next 50 to 80 years, real estate experts aren’t expecting any major demographic shifts.

Jersey Shore
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Peter Reinhart, director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University, isn’t counting on a mass exodus of the Jersey Shore anytime soon because to many people, 50 years is a long time.

“If they can afford to, and they have either their own financial resources or through the insurance proceeds, they’re pretty much sticking to where they were before,” said Reinhart. “So I don’t think you’re going to see a wholesale retreat from the shore just yet.”

Another factor is the aesthetic desirability of living near any body of water. But Reinhart said there’s a limit to that.

“I think it’s possible that, you know, the dangers of it and the continued need to rebuild or protect your home will outweigh the aesthetics,” said Reinhart.

Long-range plans made by officials in hard-hit coastal and bayshore communities, to protect themselves from future devastation, could play a big role in whether a retreat ever happens.

One other factor, according to Reinhart, is the banking community, which may eventually make the decision itself.

“Because if the banks will no longer lend to residences or buildings in harm’s way of future sea level rise, then there will be very few people able or willing to put all of their own financial resources into that,” said Reinhart.

As we previously reported, geoscientists at Rutgers and Tufts Universities estimate that the New Jersey shore will likely experience a sea-level rise of about 1.5 feet by the year 2050, and about 3.5 feet by 2100.

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