Publication Detail

Shoreline change, seawalls, and coastal property values

Di Jin, Porter Hoagland, DK Au, J Qiu

We investigate the effects of shoreline change and protective structures (seawalls) on home values, using data on residences sold between 2000 and 2010 in the coastal towns of Marshfield, Duxbury, and Plymouth, Massachusetts. These towns comprise shorelines that exhibit moderate rates of shoreline change, relative to other shorelines in the state, with extensive armoring. We investigate explicitly the effects of hard structural protection in combination with environmental amenities and hazards (distance to a beach, property elevation, location in a flood zone). We find that homeowners pay a premium for nearshore properties protected by nature (higher elevations or more stable shorelines) or by humans (seawalls). The average marginal increase in nearshore property values associated with a 1m rise in elevation is 2 percent, a 1m (horizontal distance) decrease in the erosion rate is 0.2 percent, and location behind a seawall is 10 percent. We find that the benefits of access to ocean amenities dominate the risks of exposure to hazards associated with shoreline change, but only for oceanfront residences. This latter finding is likely affected by the characteristics of property ownership in Massachusetts, where private property may extend to the mean low water line, thereby limiting access for recreation by non-shorefront property owners.

type: Presentations

Parent Project

Project No.: 2014-R/P-NERR-14-1-REG
Title: Buy Out or Build Back? A Comparative Assessment of Approaches to Employing Public Funding to Vulnerable Coastal Properties in the Northeastern United States

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