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Thinking of Investing in Oceanfront Condos? You Might Want to Think Again

The Motley Fool logo The Motley Fool 10/4/2021 Aly Yale
a large body of water: Thinking of Investing in Oceanfront Condos? You Might Want to Think Again © Provided by Millionacres Thinking of Investing in Oceanfront Condos? You Might Want to Think Again

If you're considering adding a condo or two to your portfolio, you might want to hit pause. According to the latest data from ATTOM, condo prices are surging -- at least in oceanfront areas.

In fact, in the second quarter of the year, condos located in oceanside counties saw prices surge anywhere from 10% to 40% on average. Half of those counties saw median prices above the national average ($305,000).

As ATTOM explains, "Condo values have continued to rise in oceanfront areas amid a combination of historically low mortgage rates and the ongoing appeal of living along or near oceanside communities."

Are condos on your investing radar? Here's the info you need to make a smart decision.

Where oceanfront prices are surging

The biggest jumps in condo prices were seen in typically lower-priced markets, many of which are in the south. The smallest increase? Those were in higher-cost markets along the West Coast.

Still, that doesn't mean West Coast condos were cheap -- not even close. Just take a peek at the cities with the highest-cost oceanfront condos in the second quarter of this year:

  • San Francisco County, California: $1.175 million
  • San Mateo County, California: $915,500
  • Kings County, New York: $876,250
  • Marin County, California: $723,000
  • Santa Cruz County, California: $693,500
  • Walton County, Florida: $475,000
  • Monroe County, Florida: $465,150
  • Nassau County, Florida: $416,750
  • Baldwin County, Alabama: $351,563
  • St. Johns County, Florida: $329,414

Overall, the biggest increases were seen in Pasco County, Florida, north of Tampa, where median prices were up a whopping 245% compared to Q2 2020. Galveston County, Texas, came in second, with a 102% uptick.

Where prices are more manageable

Fortunately, the surge isn't nationwide. In fact, according to ATTOM, there were seven counties where median oceanfront condo prices decreased in the second quarter. These included:

  • Santa Rosa County, Florida: Prices down 22%
  • Onslow County, North Carolina: Prices down 18%
  • Suffolk County, Massachusetts: Prices down 11%
  • Juneau County, Alaska: Prices down 10%
  • Queens County, New York: Prices down 8%

For the cheapest oceanside condos in the nation, look to Atlantic County, New Jersey, or Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. There, condos clock in at a mere $124,000 and $135,000, respectively. Other low-cost places include Citrus County, Florida; Mobile County, Alabama; and Onslow County, North Carolina.

The bottom line

Oceanfront condos are in high demand, and prices are surging as a result. If you're on the hunt for a beachside condo to add to your investment portfolio, be smart about where you look. You'll also want to factor in the condition of the property -- particularly in light of the recent tragedy at the Champlain Towers South condos in Florida.


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The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from Millionacres is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.


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