Definition of "Accretion"

Maureen McCann real estate agent
Maureen McCann, Real Estate Agent keller williams legacy

A natural process of adding soil to land, usually by water action, leaving earth or sand deposits. This can take place through unusual events such as flooding or storm conditions, or cyclical events such as seasonal variations in tidal patterns. Any natural soil additions usually belong to the property owner.

What is the accretion in real estate?

This process of accretion in real estate entails a slowly increasing, the land affected will increase in size. There are three ways in which moving water can affect land: accretion, avulsion, reliction. 

Accretion in real estate is the process by which the surface of the land grows, it’s a gradual increase. This process is caused by the recession of a body of water on land that had at one point been covered by it. This water, over time, acts almost like a living thing, moving and affecting the land around it.

In real estate, the term accretion is used to refer to an increase in land due to soil accumulation, the accretion in real estate is a gift from nature for the land owners.

What is the opposite of accretion in real estate?

As we mentioned above, the accretion has two opposites in real estate. One of them is avulsion, which is caused by rivers or other water around the land. Avulsion in real estate is an abrupt change in land, caused by pieces of soil brought there by the watercourse. It means a break of certain land from the owner surface as a result of flood, or some changes that occur on the watercourse. The avulsion in real estate may result in the increase or decrease of land from the surface area of the plot. This process mainly occurs after storms, when the width of the river is increasing, and the water erodes a part of the land around it.

Reliction in real estate is the opposite of the accretion in real estate, this process may refer to a change to the land surface, after the action of the water. It’s a way to increase the surface of land, after water receding, the properties and surface of land will be modified, and the new surface of land will be the owners.

Examples of real estate accretion

If you have a house,and, over time, you want to change the structure of the house and decide to increase your house with a new room, so, you change the size of the house, you modify the surface of the building.

The term of accretion can be understood better with the next example. In ten years, the wind moves a part of John’s land on the George’s property, in conclusion, George’s property area will increase, because the land which was moved from John’s surface, in his surface, will be his now.

Example of real estate avulsion

After last year’s flood, Michael lost a part of soil, because the water took it and the water wore away the area of Mary’s garden, so, after this process of avulsion, the Michael’s surface of land decreased and the Mary’s garden increased in surface.

Example of real estate reliction

After a long period of drought, some lakes from U.S have decreased their flow, and the farmers have acquired the surface of the land which dried.

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