Scorching Real Estate and Orange County's Changing Housing Market

Lisa Mailhot  |  July 9, 2024


Scorching Real Estate and Orange County's Changing Housing Market


As a realtor in Orange County, I've seen firsthand how climate change reshapes our local real estate market. Recent findings from the California Insurance Department have shed light on a silent killer affecting our communities more than we realize: extreme heat.

The Golden State has always been known for its warm weather, but the intensity and frequency of heat waves have escalated dramatically in recent years. According to a new report, extreme heat events in California have claimed more lives than wildfires and resulted in billions of dollars in economic losses over the past decade.

Here's what homeowners and potential buyers need to know:

  • Health Impacts: Extreme heat has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of hospitalizations, and countless emergency room visits. This health crisis disproportionately affects low-income communities, older adults, and outdoor workers.
  • Economic Toll: The total economic impact of extreme heat events from 2013 to 2022 reached a staggering $7.7 billion. This includes lost wages, agricultural disruptions, power outages, and infrastructure damage.
  • Insurance Challenges: Currently, there's little to no insurance coverage available for many heat-related issues, such as lost wages due to extreme temperatures or damage to infrastructure like railways.
  • Property Values: As extreme heat becomes more prevalent, properties with cooling features, energy-efficient designs, and ample shade will likely become more valuable.
  • Community Planning: Cities and counties are beginning to invest in heat mitigation strategies, such as expanding green spaces and establishing cooling centers. These initiatives could influence neighborhood desirability and property values.

What can homeowners do?

  • Invest in Energy Efficiency: Consider upgrades like improved insulation, energy-efficient windows, and high-efficiency HVAC systems to keep your home cool and energy bills low.
  • Landscaping for Cooling: Strategically planted trees and vegetation can provide natural cooling for your property.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with local heat action plans and utilize community resources during extreme heat events.
  • Insurance Review: Regularly review your homeowner's insurance to understand what is and isn't covered related to extreme heat events.

As we navigate this changing landscape, staying informed and adapting is crucial. Orange County's real estate market is evolving, and savvy buyers and sellers understand and prepare for these climate-related challenges.

Bottom Line

Extreme heat is reshaping our communities and the real estate market in ways we're only beginning to understand. If you're considering buying or selling a home in Orange County, working with a knowledgeable realtor who understands these emerging trends is more important than ever. Let's connect and navigate this changing market together.



Reference: “Extreme heat in California: Hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, billions of dollars” by Levi Sumagaysay| Calmatters. Published on July 8, 2024.


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