The Impact of Waterfront Living on Property Values in Miami
When you see “waterfront views” on a home listing, you automatically think, “Oh, nice!” But why is waterfront property so appealing? Whether it’s a lake, an intercoastal waterway, or an ocean, something is calming about being near water.
Numerous studies have shown that proximity to water—or “blue spaces”—leads to better overall health, well-being, and happiness.
With this information alone, it’s understandable why a home on the water would be more expensive than one further inland. Let’s look at some factors causing property values in Miami to rise:
While a waterfront property is great for your health, it is also more susceptible to storm damage, flooding, rising sea levels, salt spray, and wind. And with all that nature comes repair costs and higher insurance rates.
From Coconut Grove to Bayside, living near the beach in Miami means you have everything you need within a short walk. Restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, hospitals, parks, and churches are all lined up on the coast.
Waterfront property is not rare in Miami, but it will cost more than an inland location. The coastline is about 15 miles long, from 87th Street to just south of The Kampong, National Tropical Botanical Garden. Then there is the Miami Beach coastline, too.
The 2018 Robb Report stated that Miami waterfront condo owners paid anywhere from a 38% to 101% premium compared to their inland counterparts. More recently, Florida Trend reported that new waterfront condos, which make up 98.7% of all waterfront property, were selling for around $2,500 per square foot. And single-family homes on the water, which are much harder to come by, start at around $20 million.
For comparison, the median home price in Miami, as of December 2023, was $455,000—just a fraction of the price of a waterfront home.
Benefits of a Waterfront Home
What’s so great about living on the water anyway? Aside from the great views and enhanced well-being it provides, living on the beach has numerous benefits. It lends to a more active lifestyle, it encourages relationships with friends and family—because they all want to visit you—and, because of the demand for waterfront property, it’s a good investment with excellent resale value.
It’s as clear as the water on a sunny day in South Beach; waterfront properties are significantly more expensive and valuable than those further inland. However, waterfront properties impact all housing costs, increasing local demand.
If you can afford it, the benefits outweigh the risks (provided you have good hurricane insurance coverage), but if you can’t, consider buying a house with a pool. A pool is water too, and while it may not have as much of an impact as the ocean, it’s still calming, allows you to be more active, and is an inviting place to gather with loved ones. And, depending on how you landscape around your pool, you can create a secluded oasis that you never have to share with tourists. shared with all the tourists.
If you’re ready to purchase a home in Miami or Miami Beach, The Raymond International Group can help you navigate the process. Choosing between a prime location with high costs or a lower-cost fixer-upper further inland is a big decision. But no matter where you are in the city, the water is never far and the sunshine is always just around the corner.
Alissa Cassidy lives in Atlanta with her three sons, husband, and beagle-harrier. She is a grad student and enjoys working out, photography, and spending time with her friends and family.