Waterfront homes in the Tampa Bay area sell for 39 percent more than homes not on the water, a new analysis shows.
Despite that hefty premium, however, waterfront prices in the bay area and many other parts of the country aren’t quite as special as they used to be.
Nationally, homes along the water — including lakes and rivers — sold for a 36 percent premium in the first three months of this year, Zillow found. That was the lowest level since the second quarter of 2002 and below the average premium of 41 percent since 1996.
In Tampa Bay, 3.3 percent of all homes are waterfront, defined as those where the owners can get to the water’s edge without leaving their property. Among major areas only Miami-Fort Lauderdale has more homes on the water at 5.86 percent.
Tampa Bay’s relative abundance of waterfront homes keeps values comparatively low. Waterfront homes in 13 of the 35 major metro areas surveyed by Zillow are worth more than those in the bay area, with Los Angeles leading the pack at just over $2 million.
Jacksonville had the highest premium for waterfront living (72 percent) of any U.S. metro area and the highest median price ($633,700) in Florida. That is because fewer than 1 percent of Jacksonville homes are on the water.
Nationally, the low supply of available homes is narrowing the price gap between waterfront and non-waterfront properties.
"Still, having waterfront access is incredibly appealing for many buyers,’’ said Aaron Terrazas, Zillow’s senior economist. "Even as environmental risk factors like rising sea levels and storm surges gain more attention and make some buyers more cautious in the homes they consider, the premium for waterfront homes is likely to endure."