The new homebuyer's checklist

Do homebuyers need to worry about climate change?

Most prospective homebuyers know to carry out due diligence on home checks, including building and pest inspections, but should climate change be on their checklist?

Real Estate Institute Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said homebuyers need to consider the impact of climate change when doing their property homework.

"In today's property world, weather and environmental conditions must be carefully considered," Ms Mercorella said.

"The Australian government estimates an increase in temperatures, droughts, bushfires and rising sea levels over the next few decades, meaning homeowners need to research whether these risk-factors affect the area in which they're looking to buy."

Ms Mercorella said a good place to start was by checking the history of the area.

"Contact the local council and see if they have any information relating to weather conditions that might impact the property, now or in the future," Ms Mercorella said.

"It's also a good idea to see if there are any restrictions or exclusions on insurance or higher-than-usual premiums."

Ms Mercorella said those considering selling their home also need to brush up on climate change.

"Vendors need to be aware that buyers will have questions about the possible impact of climate change," Ms Mercorella said.

"They may even cite global warming or other weather risks as a reason to reduce the sale price of your property."

Data compiled by SGS Economics and planning found Queensland was the most natural disaster-prone state in the country, with more than 610,000 people in northern Queensland at extreme risk of cyclone damage.

A further 602,000 Queenslanders in Brisbane and 1.3 million in Gympie, Gladstone, Maryborough and the Gold Coast were found to be at a very high risk of cyclone damage.

Research from the Australian Journal of Emergency Management in 2018 also found bushfires and heatwaves now accounted for two-thirds of all-natural disaster-related deaths, and the cost of bushfires had doubled over the past 40 years.

REIQ Top due diligence tips 

  • Make sure you receive information from credible sources.
  • Don't make decisions based on rumours or gossip.
  • Due diligence is a crucial step when making, what will most likely be, the largest purchase of your life.