Coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to changes in climate and weather, as well as sea-level rise and coastal erosion. The impact of these hazards can be very costly, and not just in terms of property damage, but also in lost revenue as many coastal communities are also tourism-based economies. The goal of this study is to investigate the awareness and attitudes of full-time residents and second-home property owners regarding the impact of climate and weather on property ownership and to identify the factors that most influences these attitudes in three coastal counties (Brunswick, Currituck, and Pender) of North Carolina, USA. The majority of previous studies have focused on only full-time residents’ risk perceptions. Given the fact that these coastal communities have a high percentages of second homes, this study fills that research gap by including second-home owners. This study integrates both social (survey data) and physical (geospatial coastal hazards data) aspects of vulnerability into a single assessment to understand the determinants of property owners’ risk perceptions and compare their perceived risks with their physical vulnerability. The study also compared the utility of a global ordinary least square (OLS) model with a local geographically weighted regression (GWR) model to identify explanatory variables in the dataset. The GWR was found to be a slightly better fit for the data with an R2
of 0.248 (compared to 0.206 for the OLS). However, this was still relatively low and indicated that this study likely did not capture all of the factors that influence the perceptions of vulnerability in patterns of property ownership (whether full-time residents or second-home owners). The geospatial variables used to determine coastal vulnerability were found not to significantly impact perceptions related property ownership, but did provide additional insight in explaining spatial patterns of the response variable within each county.
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