11 of Top 20 Cities in Hawaii, Five in California, Four in Florida
Average Temperatures of at Least 60 Degrees, Median Home Values Below $1 Million
IRVINE, Calif. – May 23, 2014 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released a special report on the best beach town housing markets based on home values, weather, air quality and crime rates.
For the report, RealtyTrac first selected the top 100 best beach towns based on four criteria: average temperature, percent of sunny days, percent of days with good air quality, and crime rates. The top 100 towns based on these criteria were then sorted by median value of single family homes and condos, from lowest to highest. The top 20 markets all had median home values below $1 million.
“Buying near the 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.”
Four of the top 20 beach town housing markets were in Florida, led by Hobe Sound, a town of less than 15,000 located in Martin County about halfway between West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. Hobe Sound had an average temperature of 76 degrees, 64 percent sunny days, 98 percent of days with good air quality and a crime grade of A+. The town ranked No. 1 on the list thanks to its low median estimated market value of homes and condos: $191,189.
Other Florida beach towns in the top 20 were Naples at No. 2 and Marco Island at No. 5 — both in Southwest Florida — and Key Biscayne south of Miami at No. 20. Key Biscayne had a median property value of $922,002.
Hawaii accounted for 11 of the top 20 beach town housing markets, the most of any state, led by Waianae in Honolulu County on the island of Oahu. An average temperature of 76 degrees, 74 percent sunny days and 100 percent days with good air quality boosted Waianae into the 100 best beach towns, and a relatively low median home value of $309,328 helped it rank No. 3 among the top 20.
Other Hawaii beach towns among the top 20 were Wailuku at No. 4, Kahului at No. 7, Kihei at No. 9, and Lahaina at No. 12 — all on the island of Maui — and Ewa Beach at No. 8, Waipahu at No. 10, Honolulu at No. 13, Pearl City at No. 14, Kaneohe at No. 15, and Kailua at No. 18 — all on the island of Oahu.
Five California beach towns were in the top 20, led by Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast of the state. The town of about 15,000 had an average temperature of 60 degrees, 78 percent sunny days, 100 percent good air quality days and an A crime rate grade. Its $418,403 median home value was the lowest among all California beach towns on the list and ranked it No. 6 among the top 20.
Other California beach towns among the top 20 were Morro Bay at No. 11, also on the state’s Central Coast, along with the Southern California towns of Dana Point at No. 16, Seal Beach at No. 17, and San Clemente at No. 19.
The total index score was from 0 to 90, 90 points being the top score. 25 points of this total score was from crime data, 25 points was from percent of sunny days, 25 points was from average temperature, and 15 points was from percent of good air quality days. The crime data came from the FBI and it varies year by year. Data in regards to the average number of days of sunshine, and average temperature came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is based upon average data from 2001 to 2013. Air pollution data came from the Environmental Protection Agency and is based upon data from 2013.
In the initial pre-selection of candidates for the 101 Best Beach Towns only towns with a grade of C- or higher for crime were considered. Also only cities with 90 percent or higher number of good air days were considered.
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