ABN Amro joins the rush to warn about real estate climate risks

Credit: Niels van der Pas

The Netherlands has some 900 neighbourhoods where action needs to be taken to offset the risks of climate change but where the population may not be able to afford to do what is needed, according to an analysis by ABN Amro economists. 

Of them, 90 will have to deal with at least two of the three problems the bank identified: foundation issues, flood risks and energy efficiency drives. 

To kick off, the government, owners and financial institutions should prioritise the 19 multiple problem neighbourhoods where more than 70% of the homes are privately owned, the bank said. These are areas where a relatively high percentage of home owners are low income and have often bought their properties from housing corporations. 

ABN Amro is the third institution this month to highlight what it sees as the financial problems which home owners could face because of climate change. 

Earlier, real estate statistics agency Calcasa said climate change is hanging over the Dutch housing market like a “dark cloud” and could lead to a total loss in value of €325 billion.

In addition to flood and drought damage, earthquakes too can have an impact on home owners in the north and south of the country, Calcasa said.

Financial sector watchdog AFM said at the beginning of the month that the risk of flooding and foundation damage should be taken into account when determining how much property is worth because the cost of repairs could add up to €100,000 per property.

ABN Amro said it is not making its map of vulnerable areas public because that could lead to panic and because no research has been done on which actual properties are at risk. 

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