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Zillow: Jacksonville Leads The Nation in Premiums People Pay For Waterfront Living

Bob Self
The Florida Times-Union
Waterfront townhomes line the St. Johns River at Berkman Plaza in downtown Jacksonville.

The overall premium people pay for waterfront homes is shrinking around the country, but Jacksonville is bucking that trend.

That’s according to Zillow Research, which found Jacksonville tops the list when it comes waterfront premiums paid.

Since 1996, Zillow estimates the average premiums paid for waterfront homes in Jacksonville has been  72.3%.

That compares to 39% percent in Tampa and 38.2% in Miami.

While waterfront homes nationally are worth a total $134 billion, according to Zillow, the price premium for single-family homes on the water has fallen to 36 percent in April 2018, down from 54 percent in 2012 and an average of 41 percent over the past 22 years.

Zillow blames the overall national difference on “catastrophic hurricanes, climate change, people’s changing tastes - or the tremendous bounce back in non-waterfront homes since the housing bust.”

During the housing boom, prices for waterfront homes grew faster than those of non-waterfront homes, and the hit they took during the bust was not as dramatic, according to Zillow.

In Jacksonville, Zillow said the majority waterfront homes tend to be located in areas where home prices in general are roughly double the rest of the metro area – and waterfront homes are among the most valuable properties within their pricey ZIP codes.

Credit Zillow

Zillow defined homes as being on the water when a resident can go to a body of water, such as a lake, river or ocean, while staying on the property.

In any given year about 0.4 percent to 0.6 percent of all property-transactions are for houses on the water, according to Zillow.

Zillow's waterfront report is available here. Additional information aboutJacksonville's overall housing market is available here.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.