A mystery numbers cruncher using the name of the “sunburned realtor” collects data annually to come up with the country’s most affordable beach towns. Sourced from realtor.com, this sunburned person checks out listings that mention the word “ocean,” not rivers or lakes, in “the country’s 900 largest housing markets.” This sunburned mystery person also finds the towns with the lowest median list prices from 4/17-5/18, talks with locals face-to-face.

Here is the 2018 edition of The Most Affordable Beach Towns in the US, according to the mysterious “sunburned realtor”:

  1. Gulfport, MS – median list price is $184,100
    1. 5 hours northeast of New Orleans
    2. leveled by Katrina but coming back
    3. Kelly Moses, agent with Coldwell Banker Alfono Realty, “Gulfport is one of the best kept secrets of all coastal towns…beautiful man-made beaches for 20 miles.
  2. Jacksonville, NC – median list price $184,600
    1. Home to largest Marine Corps base on East Coast
    2. Rental homes always in demand – “It allows military members who want to buy to also make the home an investment (property) when they leave,” said Jon Meyers with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty
    3. Topsail Island beaches @ $300,000 and Emerald Isle @ $.5-1M.
  3. Aberdeen WA – median list price is $208,400
    1. lots of 2nd home buyers from Portland & Seattle
    2. 45 minute drive from Olympic National Forest
    3. “At Ocean Shores, a development ½ hour from Aberdeen, “…homes are flying off the market,” said Kelsey Brazeau, broker with Keller Williams South Sound.
  4. Atlantic City, NJ – median list price is $229,800
    1. Surge in development since Hurricane Sandy and the closure of several casinos
    2. Oceanfront condo prices have lower price-points than other beach towns nearby
    3. Lots of buyers from Philadelphia and New York.
  5. Myrtle Beach, SC – median list price is $2343,800
    1. This tourist mecca draws an average +185M annually, according to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
    2. Tourists who need rentals come from the Midwest and East coast for 60 miles of beaches
    3. Many oceanfront properties raised to avoid flooding.
  6. Corpus Christi, TX – median list price is $237,600
    1. This is a year-round destination and a major driver of oil & gas employment in region
    2. Hurricane Harvey reeked havoc to homes last year and it 1 of only 27 cities of 350 largest metros where home prices fell over past 12 months
  7. Palm Bay, FLA – median list price is $261,600
    1. Located on “Space Coast” with Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and just 45 minutes from Orlando
    2. Influx of tech and engineering workers from CA & NY
    3. Cara Mattingly, agent with Advanta Realty, said, “Buyers like the fact that no matter where you are in the area, you can get to the beach in less than 25 minutes.”
  8. Virginia Beach, VA – median list price is $273,200
    1. 1.5M people come here during summertime
    2. home to Naval Station Norfolk, largest naval base in world
    3. lowest average down payment at 6.8% of 50 largest housing markets and has lots of military buyers who qualify for no-down-payment-required vet loans
  9. Coors Bay, OR – median list price is $274,200
    1. Older homes with great views
    2. Bettendorf Beach for camping, Brandon Dunes Resort for golfing; kayaking at South Sloth National Este ravine Reserve
    3. Bring wet suit for cold waters
  10. Port St. Lucie FLA – median list price is $274,700
    1. 50 minutes north of West Palm Beach with much lower home prices by comparison; also lower prices than Miami Beach
    2. beachfront single family homes @ $500,000; beachfront condos @ $200,000 – $315,000