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A typical oceanfront or lakefront family home in the United States is worth more than double the median value of all homes, and in some locations 10 or more times, new research shows. Currently the median price for a family home is about $171,600, while the median waterfront house was valued at $370,900, a premium of 116.1%, according to the analysis by real estate firm Zillow. Among large cities the biggest difference between median non-waterfront family home values and median waterfront house values are in Tampa, Florida with a premium of 733%, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii, with a premium of 334.5% and Long Beach, California with a premium of 321.6%. ‘The allure of ocean and lakefront living is powerful and undeniable, and millions of home owners nationwide dream of one day owning a home on the water. But those dreams come at a price,’ said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. ‘Waterfront properties are both relatively scarce and highly coveted, and that high demand and limited supply leads to higher home prices. Additionally, added insurance, floods, environmental mitigation and infrastructure costs are often part of the tab when buying a waterfront home,’ he pointed out. ‘Still, as long as buyers understand the added costs and potential headaches, waterfront living is likely to remain one of life’s simple pleasures for many, many years to come,’ he added. The median waterfront home value is calculated in the same way as the Zillow Home Value Index and represents the median value of all single family waterfront homes in a given community. The index includes family homes located 150 feet or closer to the waterline of an ocean or lakes with a total combined size of 10 square kilometers or greater. Properties separated from direct waterfront by a road with a speed limit of 25mph or less are also considered waterfront. Riverfront properties were not included in this analysis, nor were condominium or co-op housing units. Zillow’s initial analysis covers 250 cities and towns nationwide with at least 100 waterfront homes meeting the criteria. Continue reading →
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