If you live in San Diego, you probably already know that owning a home on the coast can be quite expensive. While the benefits of living on the water are pretty obvious, the costs associated with that kind of lifestyle can seem exorbitant to some. So, just how much does it cost to live on San Diego’s waterfront? Short answer – a lot.
According to a new study from Zillow, living on San Diego’s coast costs nearly three times as much as living farther inland. The real estate tracker, which focused on coastal properties throughout the country, defines waterfront living as a home located within 150 feet of the waterline, separated only by a road with a speed limit less than 25 miles per hour. In San Diego, most of the properties that fit that criteria happen to be located in the areas around Mission Bay and the San Diego Yacht Club on Shelter Island. On average, these waterfront properties cost 240 percent more than the typical median-priced home.
In their report, Zillow found that the median value of a San Diego waterfront home was $1,924,500. While that’s a high number in and of itself, it seems even higher when compared to a typical San Diego home, which has an median price of $564,900. As it happens, the gap in San Diego between coastal and inland homes is the second largest in all of California, behind only Long Beach. Nationwide, San Diego had the seven highest price differential between homes that are located on the water and homes that are not.
Apart form San Diego itself, the only other city located in the county to make the list was Coronado. In Coronado, there are currently 571 homes that are located on the water. The median price for those homes, as reported by Zillow, is $1,925,800, which is 32 percent more than a non-waterfront home.
Jeff Olson, chief of assessment services at the San Diego County Assessor’s Office, said in waterfront locations, the owner’s property generally extends to the high tide location of the Pacific Ocean. The county, however, does not keep data on how many properties are located on the water. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Zillow disqualified many properties that people generally consider to be on the waterfront. The homes in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla, for instance, all appear to be on the shoreline. However, since they are on a cliff, they didn’t count in Zillow’s study.
As you might expect, the high price of coastal properties isn’t a new phenomenon – they have always been valuable and probably always will be. “Waterfront properties are both relatively scarce and highly coveted, and that high demand and limited supply leads to higher home prices,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries explained. “Additionally, added insurance, floods, environmental mitigation, and infrastructure costs are often part of the tab when buying a waterfront home.”
In the past couple of decades, the price gap between waterfront and inland properties has only gotten wider. According to Zillow economist Skylar Olsen, in the 1990’s, the difference between waterfront properties and all others was about 1.5 times the value. Nationwide, that gap has increased to about two times the value.