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Over half of Australia’s homes at risk of natural disasters, Domain report reveals

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A staggering 5.6 million out of 10.9 million dwellings in Australia are at risk of bushfire, while 953,000 homes are at risk of flood and 17,500 are at risk of coastal erosion, according to Domain’s first-of-its-kind 2024 Perils Report.

The report found that a total of $5.45 trillion worth of property could be decimated by natural disasters, equivalent to over five times the federal government’s total expenditure for 2023. Despite this massive risk, only 29 per cent of Australians are aware of their property’s risk of being impacted by natural disasters.

Domain CEO Jason Pellegrino asserted that “we need to ensure all Australians have a place to call home without fear of it being gone tomorrow.” He emphasized that the housing crisis and climate crisis are interconnected, with Australians struggling to find affordable housing while facing unprecedented cost-of-living pressures and more consistent and extreme weather events that are significantly devaluing homes.

“Of greatest concern is that many Australians are willing to live on land facing peril in order to have a place to call home,” Pellegrino stated. He warned that conversations about housing and climate resilience “need to stop happening in isolation because they can’t be solved alone.”

Dr Nicola Powell, chief of research at Domain, expressed deep concern about the number of new developments still being built in at-risk zones. She noted that Queensland has the highest proportion of at-risk properties when it comes to flooding, while New South Wales faces the largest expected losses in property damage, estimated at over half a billion dollars per year.

“Despite this, there persists a concerning trend of continued construction and residential development in flood-prone zones,” Powell said.

Domain plans to host a Future Housing Forum in the coming weeks, bringing together key government ministers, financial institutions, and insurance bodies to address the acute need to protect Australian homes from disasters.

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