- Port Arthur, Texas is the most affordable beach town in the U.S. at just $65/square foot
- 24 of the most affordable towns and cities with beaches are located in the South
- At $102/square foot, Corpus Christi, Texas, & Mobile, Ala., rank as the most affordable beach cities with more than 100,000 residents
- The East Coast claims two of the 10 best-priced beach towns in the U.S.
- At $150/square foot, Mastic Beach is the #1 affordable beach town in New York state
- Five of the least expensive West Coast beach towns are clustered in Grays Harbor County, Wash.
With summer in full swing and scorching temperatures driving city dwellers to try to escape urban heat islands, we analyzed home prices in towns and cities with beaches to see which are the most affordable options for homebuyers looking to move or buy a second home. More precisely, we ranked towns by the local median price per square foot to avoid results being skewed by larger local median home sizes.
Looking at the 25 best-priced beach towns and cities (which actually include 31 locations due to multiple ties in pricing), it’s clear that homebuyers looking for easy access to ocean waters and beaches will have an easier time finding an affordable option in the South. Specifically, 24 of the 31 communities in our top 25 are located in the South: In particular, Florida, Mississippi and Texas contributed the most with nine, seven and five locations, respectively. Alabama joined them with two beach destinations.
The remaining seven spots were occupied by East Coast communities. Notably, the West Coast was completely absent due to significantly higher prices. For example, the #25 best-priced cities for homebuyers nationwide were Pass Christian, Miss., and Carrabelle, Fla., at $151 per square foot. Conversely, the West Coast’s lowest-price town was Copalis Beach, Wash., at $188 per square foot.
Read to the end to discover the #1 most affordable beach town for homebuyers; the most affordable cities with beaches and more than 100,000 residents; and the most budget-friendly beach communities on the East and West coasts. You can also explore the full list of the 25 most affordable communities for U.S. homebuyers at the bottom of the page.
8 of the 10 Most Affordable Beach Towns in the U.S. Are Located in the South
#10 Biloxi, Miss.
Median price per sq. ft : $109 | Median home size: 1,949 sq. ft | Median sale price: $212,073
Biloxi is an attractive option for homebuyers looking for affordable home prices and beach access. That’s because it offers the conveniences of urban living without the fast pace of large cities. It also has a dynamic entertainment scene thanks to its active casino resort industry. Additionally, Biloxi may prove especially attractive to buyers with a passion for sportfishing, as the city stands at the center of the Fertile Fisheries Crescent.
#9 Bowers, Del.
Median price per sq. ft: $107 | Median home size: 2,083 sq. ft | Median sale price: $223,085
One of just two communities on the East Coast among the 10 most affordable beach towns to buy a home in, Bowers may appeal to retirees looking to avoid Florida’s sweltering summers, as the median age here is 60.7 years. Considered one of Delaware’s best kept secrets, the quiet beach town of just over 300 residents is a favorite among locals looking to avoid the crowds at more popular destinations, like Rehoboth Beach. Historic homes dot the landscape and fresh seafood is still sourced locally. Plus, on Memorial Day weekend, locals and visitors can enjoy the family-friendly Buccaneer Bash pirate festival.
#8 Brunswick, Ga.
Median price per sq. ft: $105 | Median home size: 2,066 sq. ft | Median sale price: $216,442
Brunswick is a year-round resort community with art galleries, theaters, Victorian mansions and one of the busiest ports in the country. Buyers looking for education opportunities have the local Coastal College of Georgia, while one of the two local high schools is Glynn Academy — the sixth-oldest public high school in the U.S. Fishing opportunities abound in the former shrimp capital of the world and white sandy beaches can be found locally or on the nearby Golden Isles.
#7 Port Richey, Fla.
Median price per sq. ft: $104 | Median home size: 1,857 sq. ft | Median sale price: $192,900
Although commute times in Port Richey are generally higher than the national average, this Florida beach community is within 45 minutes of downtown Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The city boasts a lower-than-average cost of living and affordable home prices that are rapidly appreciating. As a result, buyers looking for mild winter temperatures can secure a home here for a median $104 per square foot in a city that was once home to country legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
#6 Corpus Christi, Texas
Median price per sq. ft: $102 | Median home size: 2,147 sq. ft | Median sale price: $219,032
By far the most populous city in our ranking with 326,000 residents, Corpus Christi also boasts the largest median home size (2,147 square feet). House hunters with an interest in sports can enjoy one of the best destinations in the country for kiteboarding, kite flying, wind surfing and sailing. Corpus Christi is also one of the best spots in the U.S. for birding per the Audubon Society. Additionally, the many local and state parks — as well as the famed Padre Island National Seashore — offer ample hiking opportunities.
#6 Mobile, Ala.
Median price per sq. ft: $102 | Median home size: 1,771 sq. ft | Median sale price: $180,920
The second-largest city in our top 10, Mobile presents an affordable option for homebuyers with an eye for arts and culture. Considered one of the top cultural centers on the Gulf Coast, the city of 190,000 residents boasts ample historic architecture and no less than 11 historic neighborhoods. Mobile also has its own symphony orchestra and ballet company; a host of museums; and one of the oldest Mardi Gras festivals in the U.S.
#5 Gulfport, Miss.
Median price per sq. ft: $94 | Median home size: 1,949 sq. ft | Median sale price: $183,158
Gulfport is one of three Mississippi beach communities where the median price per square foot is less than $100. Watersports, fishing and golf are popular here, and visitors and locals alike enjoy nearly seven miles of white sand beaches. Buyers can choose to live in a historic home or in one of the many historic neighborhoods, like the Broadmoor Place Historic District. With a local median age of just 35, Gulfport may be an option for younger buyers who can enjoy the city’s entertainment and shopping scene.
#4 Gautier, Miss.
Median price per sq. ft: $92 | Median home size: 1,868 sq. ft | Median sale price: $171,687
Surrounded by wetlands and bayous, the bedroom resort community of Gautier is an excellent option for homebuyers looking for an area rich in natural landscapes. For those wanting to own a slice of the white sand beachfronts of Gautier, high-end homes dot the city’s Gulf shores, providing easy access to watersports and fishing. Potential buyers can also take a quick boat ride to one of the many islands in the area to enjoy even more wilderness, nature preserves and state and local parks.
#3 Laguna Heights, Texas
Median price per sq. ft: $88 | Median home size: 1,856 sq. ft | Median sale price: $162,718
Here, the local median age is less than 27 and the population has doubled in the past two years. As such, Laguna Heights may be the top option for Millennials and Zoomers looking for a slow pace of life by the water without breaking the bank. Just 20 miles from the Mexican border, the community of a little more than 3,000 residents sits on the banks of Laguna Madre with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the city’s proximity to the resort town of South Padre Island makes Laguna Heights an attractive prospect for a second home.
#2 Pascagoula, Miss.
Median price per sq. ft: $66 | Median home size: 1,868 sq. ft | Median sale price: $123,981
Originally a small fishing village, nowadays, much of Pascagoula’s economy is tied to the oil industry and shipbuilding. However, the city of about 22,000 also features historic architecture, especially antebellum styles. Those considering putting down roots here will appreciate the 14-acre Pascagoula Beach Park and its bevy of family-friendly amenities. Notably, Pascagoula is one of just five beach cities where home prices are still less than $100/square foot.
#1 Port Arthur, Texas
Median price per sq. ft: $65 | Median home size: 1,339 sq. ft | Median sale price: $87,235
Easy access to birding, fishing, state parks, waterways and a rich cultural heritage of historic sites and museums — including the famous Museum of the Gulf Coast — as well as the multicultural Faith Trail are some of the highlights of living in Port Arthur. Those with a passion for boating can find a community on Port Arthur’s man-made Pleasure Island with its state-of-the-art, 70,000-acre marina and weekly boat races. The city is also home to the largest oil refinery in the U.S., centering the oil industry and port activities at the heart of its economy.
Only 5 Beach Towns With 100K+ Residents Have Medians Less Than $150/Sq. Ft
|Rank||NAME||State||County||Price/Sq. Ft||Median Home Size||Median Sale Price||Population|
Corpus Christi, Texas & Mobile, Ala.
Median sale price: $102/sq. ft
With the median sale price in both cities at $102/square foot, Corpus Christi and Mobile also rank among the 10 most affordable beach towns in the U.S., tied at #6. Specifically, both cities offer the amenities and economic opportunities of urban living with low home prices and ample beaches. However, while Corpus Christi has the largest median home size at 2,147 square feet, Mobile has the second-smallest square footage in the top 10 at just 1,771.
Palm Bay, Fla.
Median sale price: $144/sq. ft
Palm Bay is about one-third of the size of Corpus Christi, but homes here sell for a median $144/square foot — or $42 more per square foot. Considered a hidden treasure of Florida, Palm Bay’s year-round warm weather is perfect for buyers of any age who have a passion for outdoor activities — even the more challenging ones, like cyclocross. That’s because the city has a generous trail network rich in wildlife, championship-level golf courses, water sports, nature preserves and much more.
Cape Coral, Fla. & Hampton, Va.
Median sale price: $148/sq. ft
Sliding in at just under $150 per square foot, Cape Coral, Fla., and Hampton, Va., are both attractive options for budget-conscious homebuyers looking for easy beach access. With 355 sunny days per year and an average local median house size of 2,937 square feet, Cape Coral would best suit those looking for year-round warm weather for outdoor recreation and larger homes.
By comparison, Hampton homes have a more compact, 1,661-square-foot median size. The local climate is also more seasonal with 205 sunny days per year. That said, Hampton will appeal more to buyers looking for a home in an area with a rich architectural legacy and vibrant cultural life.
The East Coast’s 5 Most Affordable Beach Communities Stay Below $150/Sq. Ft
|Rank||Location||State||County||Price/Sq. Ft||Median Home Size||Median Sale Price||Population|
Brunswick, Ga. & Bowers, Del.
Median sale prices: $105/sq. ft & $107/sq. ft
The only two East Coast cities to rank among the 10 best-priced beach towns, Brunswick and Bowers are the #1 and #2 most affordable beach communities on the East Coast. Both offer generous square footage at attractive prices with median home sizes of more than 2,000 square feet. In this case, with a mere $2 difference in their median price per square foot, homebuyers need only decide between year-round warm weather or crisp winters, as well as life in a tiny community of just 300 or in a town of more than 16,000.
Atlantic City, N.J.
Median sale price: $114/sq. ft
A coastal resort city known for its beaches, boardwalk and casino industry, Atlantic City has the third-most affordable price per square foot on the eastern seaboard. However, homebuyers eyeing life close to the famous boardwalk should also have an affinity for cozy living, as the city’s median home size clocks in at just 1,122 square feet — the smallest footprint of the East Coast’s leading beach towns and cities. However, Atlantic City also boasts public access to oceanfront beaches with lifeguard monitoring.
Median sale price: $147/sq. ft
At 2,209 square feet, Keansburg offers the most generous space of the East Coast’s top five beach towns. Less than 45 miles from Manhattan’s Financial District, it’s also the most affordable beach town within reasonable distance of NYC — an intriguing prospect for potential homebuyers who work from home or are looking for an affordable second home in a quiet location. In fact, Keansburg is closer to NYC than New York state’s only presence among the 25 most affordable beach towns for homebuyers — the $150-per-square-foot Mastic Beach, which is located some 70 miles east of NYC in Suffolk County.
Median sale price: $148/sq. ft
Hampton is one of only five cities with more than 100,000 residents where the median home price sits below $150 per square foot. With 135,000 residents, this is the most populous East Coast option for homebuyers looking to stretch their dollars. Here, the larger population base (compared to most other affordable options by the beach) sustains a range of museums, art and entertainment venues. Buyers looking for some historic prestige can also enjoy a collection of historic neighborhoods and buildings.
Most Affordable West Coast Beach Towns Cluster in Washington’s Grays Harbor County
|Rank||Location||State||County||Median Price/ Sq. Ft||Median Home Size||Median Sale Price||Population|
|1||Copalis Beach||WA||Grays Harbor||$188||1,442||$270,920||515|
|1||Ocean Shores||WA||Grays Harbor||$288||1,442||$415,458||6,196|
Copalis Beach, Grayland, Westport, Moclips & Ocean Shores, Wash.
Median sale prices: $188/sq. ft; $189/sq. ft; $219/square foot; $258/sq. ft; $288/sq. ft
With the West Coast’s notoriously high prices, just two communities — Copalis Beach ($188/square foot) and Grayland ($189/square foot) — have median sale prices below $200 per square foot. In fact, four of the West Coast’s most affordable beachside communities for homebuyers are clustered next to each other in Washington state’s Grays Harbor County, with prices ranging between $188 and $258 per square foot and a median home of 1,442 square feet.
However, buyers interested in Pacific Coast beaches do have to be ready for small-town life: The population of the five communities ranges between 200 and 2,200. Alternatively, those interested in a slightly larger community can opt to buy in Ocean Shores. The town of about 6,000 is also located in the Grays Harbor cluster but, with a median sale price of $288 per square foot, it’s noticeably more expensive than its neighbors.
Median sale price: $259/sq. ft
Sitting on the Cascade Coast, Florence is Oregon’s best-priced beach town for homebuyers. The town of less than 10,000 residents is 60 miles from Eugene, providing an option for quiet beachside living for Eugene professionals working from home or those looking for a second home. Outdoor and nature enthusiasts would especially feel at home in Florence, thanks to its closeness to vast national parks like the Siuslaw National Forest and the famed Oregon Dunes.
Median sale price: $285/sq. ft
Considering the sky-high home prices typical of California, it’s no surprise that the state’s most affordable beach town is up north in the lower-priced Humboldt County. Buyers looking for California real estate with beach access and an escape from the state’s increasingly scorching summer temperatures could buy a home for a median $285 per square foot, putting the city’s median sale price below $500,000. Eureka also benefits from easy access to ample nature preserves and national parks, as well as a rich selection of historic architecture, including hundreds of Victorian homes.
Median sale price: $293/sq. ft
Attracting visitors from Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, Blaine sits right next to the Canadian border, with cross-border trade at the heart of the city’s economy. Buyers looking for a quiet beach town on the Pacific Coast can enjoy birding and wildlife-watching in the city’s reserves, as well as some of the best golfing in Washington state. Moreover, homebuyers interested in cozying up to the entertainment industry may also be attracted to Blaine, as actors and crews regularly rent homes here when working across the border in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Median sale price: $294/sq. ft
The forested Oregon Coast town of Waldport could be an option for homebuyers looking for a family-friendly beach town — thanks to good schools, mild weather, a friendly local community, an abundance of wildlife, pristine beaches, fishing and vast forests for hiking. Although the nearly 100 miles that separate Waldport from Salem, Ore. and Eugene, Ore. make daily commutes unsustainable, professionals working in home-office or hybrid setups may still consider this quiet location for a home, as the town doesn’t attract the tourist surges that other area locations do.
Explore the 25 most affordable beach towns and cities for homebuyers in 2022:
|Rank||Location||State||County||Price/Sq.Ft||Median Home Size||Median Sale Price||Population|
|20||Palm Bay||FL||Brevard FL||$144||2,140||$308,361||113,751|
|23||Fort Pierce||FL||St. Lucie||$149||1,879||$279,986||45,855|
In order to rank the most affordable beach towns in the U.S. by median sale price per square foot, we analyzed all places mapped as being located on the coast. All places that had access to the ocean only through rivers, canals or bays were excluded.
In order to calculate prices to the highest degree of accuracy, multiple data sources were combined as follows:
- First priority: PropertyShark median sale price and square footage data, where information was recent and available
- Second priority: PropertyShark median square footage data and median sale price information aggregated from Zillow, where PropertyShark pricing data was unavailable or was considered not recent enough
- Third priority: where neither square footage nor median sale price data was available or recently updated on PropertyShark, information on median home sizes was sourced from Realtor and pricing information was aggregated from Zillow.