A new study using Environmental Agency data has predicted the shocking speed of erosion on England’s coastline within the next century, with thousands of homes at risk of collapsing into the sea as the coastline fades away.
It has calculated that 7,000 homes, worth more than £1bn, will fall into the sea over the next 100 years.
The study, from price comparison site Confused.com, also shows that 520,000 properties are in areas with coastal flooding risk, and without further action this figure could treble to 1.5 million in the next 60 years.
These at-risk areas are also suffering from higher insurance premiums.
The most at-risk area on the list is the town of Happisburgh in Norfolk where the shoreline is predicted to erode 200 metres in the next 100 years. Land erosion has already claimed 35 houses in this area.
The average price for a property here is £295,182, which is £67,396 more than the average for Norfolk.
The average home insurance premium (buildings and contents) is £170.02. If residents’ houses fell into the sea or were destroyed beyond repair, the data shows that the average rebuild cost for houses in the postcode area would be £229,816.
These figures reflect the increased cost of living in a high-risk coastal erosion area. According to Confused.com, prices could rise if erosion continues to damage the area and push it into a high-risk category.
Tom Vaughan, head of home at Confused.com said: “Coastal erosion has become one of the most worrying issues for UK homeowners in seaside towns. Our research highlights the increasing risk that many coastal residents are facing, to the point where some are ultimately looking at losing their homes over the next 20 years.
“Homes on the coastline have always been popular, especially in Yorkshire and East England where views are second to none. However, as land erodes, we could be seeing more expensive insurance premiums, as the danger of damage from climate change is higher than living inland.”
Yorkshire and the Humber suffers the highest rate of coastline erosion with a worrying 56.2% of land disappearing along the county’s coastline. Towns such are Hornsea, Withernsea and Filey are at risk of erosion and, therefore, face soaring insurance prices.
The east coast of England is being hit the hardest by the elements. According to the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), 31% of coastline in the south of England is also eroding, leaving coastal areas such as Norfolk, Suffolk, East Sussex and West Sussex at risk.
In the north-east, 27% of the coastal area is at risk of disappearing, whereas the north-west is eroding at a much lower rate with only 18.5% of the coastline affected.