It’s one thing to rent a beach house in the Hamptons for the price of an Ivy League college education….it’s another to live by the sea all year ‘round. Hobe Sound, 100 miles north of Miami, is the place to be, according to a report from RealtyTrac on the best beach town housing markets in the U.S.
With a population of nearly 13,000, Hobe Sound has an average temperature of 76 degrees, 64 percent sunny days, one of the best air quality ratings, and one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. On top of all that, real estate is affordable: The median estimated market value of single-family homes is $191,189.
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Beach towns offer big bonuses in the real estate stakes. “Buying near a beach is one of the best ways to ensure a property will appreciate in value,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Whether buying for retirement, a vacation home or a primary residence, homes located in quality beach towns benefit from virtually unlimited demand and a finite supply of land to build on.”
To come up with the best beach town bargains, RealtyTrac first listed the 100 best beach towns based on average temperatures, percentage of sunny days, percentage of good air quality days, and crime rates. It then narrowed its list by the median value of single-family homes and condos.
Aside from Hobe Sound, other Florida towns in the top 10 beach housing markets include Naples, on the west coast of Florida, which came in second, and Marco Island, less than 20 miles south of Naples. It ranked in fifth place.
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The state the most represented in the best beach housing markets is Hawaii, which counts six towns that made the rankings. Waianae in Honolulu County on the island of Oahu and Wailuku in Maui came in third and fourth position, respectively.
Although the crime rate in these towns is higher and the median estimated market value of homes and condos is higher than in the top two, the towns have more sunny days and better air quality days as well as higher average temperatures.
Meanwhile, only one California beach town made the top 10: Los Osos, which is almost halfway between Los Angeles and San Jose.
The top 10 markets all had median home values below $535,000 and average temperatures between 60 and 76 degrees.
Click here to see the 10 most affordable beach house towns.
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