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Climate Risk Score for Properties

A boat driving through water that has flooded a subdivision.

One of the tools Realtors have used to market a property is being able to tell potential buyers about a variety of scores a property may have.  Is it close to amenities, what kind of schools are in the area, what is the proximity to public transit etc.  Now with the world facing a climate crisis a new property score is making its way into Canada, a climate risk score for properties.

A new online real estate tool is now being used in Canada after a U.S. company called ClimateCheck partnered with a Montreal-based platform and now you are able to check a properties climate risk score.  Currently properties in the U.S. are able to go on ClimateCheck and see how a property holds up to heat, flood, storm, drought and fire risk.  Currently in Canada you are able to check the heat and storm risks of a property and the score for flood, fire, and drought should be available soon.

The goal of the climate risk score is not to add concern to buyers or give them the impression they shouldn’t live in a certain area but to provide them with a clearer picture when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. This way they are better equipped to adapt to climate issues that their property may face.  For example,  those who are in a high risk for storms may want to install top of the line rain gutters and a drainage system and those at wildfire risk may look into fire prevention measures.

Although it may be hard for some homeowners who are planning to sell or buyers who have found their dream home to be told they are at a high risk for some environmental issues that may affect the property, each home will have exposure to the climate crisis in some way.  For instance homes on the coast of Halifax may never have significant heat risks but have storm risks higher than those more inland.  A home up in cottage country may be subjected to a higher risk of forest fires but are lower for flood risk.

Realtors that have already implemented this score on some listings in Toronto and the CEO of ClimateCheck all believe that this score won’t make or break a deal but it’s about planning for the future and transparency in the real estate market.  With the climate crisis being at the forefront for a lot of the population (especially the younger generations) and future mass migration looming because of the climate crisis this transparency is a step in the right direction.


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