Nationally, waterfront homes are worth more than double of the value of homes overall.
The most expensive waterfront homes are in Hawaii, California and the coast of the Long Island Sound. The least expensive waterfront homes are in Florida and the Midwest.
The largest waterfront premiums are generally found in Florida and along the Great Lakes.
Nationwide, the premium paid for waterfront homes has increased over time, although it has fallen since the housing market peaked in 2007.
As the saying goes, they just don’t make waterfront property anymore. As a result, water frontage is very likely to boost a home’s value to some degree relative to non-waterfront homes. But this waterfront premium varies across the country, and it can be difficult to put a precise number on how much more home buyers end up paying for waterfront properties.
Using Zillow’s database of more than 100 million homes nationwide, we have analyzed the single-family waterfront home market in the United States from 1996 to the present and have a developed a unique home value index for waterfront homes, nationally and the city-level. Waterfront homes are defined as those properties located on an ocean or lakes with a total combined size of 10 square kilometers (3.8 square miles) of surface area or greater. As a reference, Lake Sammamish in the Seattle metropolitan area is roughly 8 square miles in size.
We examine a number of market trends. First, we look at the nationwide difference in waterfront single-family homes versus all single-family home values over time. We then break waterfront trends down to the city level and explore where waterfront homes are most expensive and where the premium relative to non-waterfront homes is the greatest.