September 21, 2023
Limited inventory and soaring prices make owning beachfront property a tough sell for the working-class
Limited inventory and soaring prices are making it tough for working-class, single-families to purchase beachfront properties.

Waterfront Homes

Limited inventory and soaring prices make owning beachfront property a tough sell for the working-class

Mike Vogel | 2/21/2022

What’s true of real estate in general — limited inventory, soaring prices — is true of beachfront and then some.

CONDOS: With exceptions — very expensive exceptions — Florida’s beachfront market is a condo market. Condos made up nearly 80% of Florida oceanfront-oceanview listings last October, according to Zillow. Beachfront towers in Southeast Florida top 40 stories. Lower-rise buildings are the norm in most of the state. Northeast Florida, parts of the Panhandle and the Keys aren’t as dominated by condos as the rest of Florida.

PREMIUM: In September, the average beachfront residential listing in Florida on Zillow was $725,000, compared to $355,000 for non-beachfront homes. In individual Florida counties, the beachfront premium was easily $1 million. There is no such thing as a working-class, single-family beachfront home neighborhood in Florida.

TWO ISLANDS: A 2.27-acre private island enclave in Palm Beach, home to the priciest real estate in Florida, is listed for $210 million. A 3.6-acre private island enclave in Marathon in Florida’s Keys with a main house, two guest houses and deep-water dockage for multiple boats sold for $11 million.

BILLIONAIRE’S DILEMMA: Strange as it is to say, multimillionaires and billionaires who want beachfront are being priced out of some markets. Real estate agents report Broward is picking up people who find their megabucks go further than in Miami-Dade. The same is true in Sarasota as billionaires look beyond Naples. Northeast Florida is gaining from people who formerly would have shopped Southeast Florida.

BEACHFRONT DEFINED: Beachfront property isn’t as obvious as it sounds. There can be a road between the house or condo and the sand. A condo building might be on the beach, but a particular unit might face inland. Zillow, for its research for FLORIDA TREND, compiled listings that included “oceanfront” and “oceanview.” That captures lower-priced homes that mention the oceanfront but aren’t on the ocean. It also captures lower-price condo units in buildings that are on the beach even if the units don’t face the ocean.

CAVEATS: Agents we spoke with took pains to point out the listings represented a snapshot at a time of very limited inventory. Checking at a different time would generate different results.

Tags: Real Estate, Feature

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