Key Highlights

  • Searches for waterfront homes skyrocketed +72% from January to September 23, according to Sotheby’s International Realty
  • These lesser known areas offer waterfront properties at more affordable prices
  • Below are six international waterfront markets on the upswing 

Just as temperatures drop, people openly begin fantasizing about owning a waterfront property in some exotic place. After all, who wouldn’t like having access to warmth and water during winter months even without a pandemic? According to Sotheby’s International Realty, searches on its site for waterfront properties have catapulted +72% from January through September 23 this year compared to 2019. ‘

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Rather than limiting your own and/or your clients waterfront property searches to the usual suspects such as the South of France or the Hawaiian Islands, check out these six emerging locations world-wide:

Bodrum, Turkey 

Michael Valdes, president of eXp Realty, encourages waterfront property seekers to look at this wonderful setting in southwestern Turkey on the Aegean Sea.   “It’s a great place to own a property because it’s affordable, welcoming to foreign investors and has a sunny year-round climate.”

Properties include apartments in the city and villas in the resort towns on the Bodrum Peninsula. Yalikavak is one of the most upscale areas and offers uncrowded beaches plus a renowned marina.   Apartments in city outskirts are available for $55,000 and up and home prices range from $200,000 to $250,000.

Port d’Andratx, Majorca

This fishing village on the southwest coast of this Spanish island offers great restaurants, shopping and safety without sandy beaches or idyllic swimming water. Without the trappings of tourism or tourists, Port d’Andratx offers calm and serenity.

Spanish mainlanders, Germans and the British are among active buyers. Hillside villas range from $2M to $30M+. Older apartment buildings in town start at $500,000 while apartments in newer lux building start at approximately $1.2M.

Cascais, Portugal

Often called the Portuguese Riviera, Casais offers sandy beaches, mild weather for most of the year, good infrastructure plus golf. Compared to prices in Algarve, homeownership costs are high. Apartments start at some $800,000 and villas are priced at a minimum of $2M.

Wealthy Portuguese and especially British are buying properties here.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergis Caye, off the northeast coast of Belize, is near one of the world’s largest reefs. This 25-mile long island draws adventure-seeking buyers, primarily from the US, to explore its pristine beauty via scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Accessibility is available by a 90-minute boat ride or 20-minute flight from Belize City

Prices for existing condos start at approximately $200,000. New condos and villas will become available in 2021 at the resort Alaia Belize with villas on the beach starting at $1.3M.

Bluffton SC

Boating, kayaking and fishing on the May and Colleton Rivers and many tidal creeks are available for vacation-seeking and retired homeowners. The city of Bluffton is just 10-minutes west of Hilton Head.

Pre-pandemic, homeowners tended to come from the Northeast, Chicago and Ohio but the pandemic is now drawing buyers from Australia and Central American. Home prices near the river begin at $300,000 while riverfront sites range from $1M+ and up.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio offers seekers white sandy beaches, surfing, fishing and wildlife including toucans and sloths in this oceanfront village of the country’s central Pacific Coast. What Costa Ricans call Pura Vida, Manuel Antonio has a laid-back lifestyle among a mix of beach cottages and hillside properties.

Less than $500,000 can buy a three-bedroom home with ocean views and the feeling of comfort.

As with all waterfront properties wherever in the world they are, watch out for these factors:

  • Overpricing
  • Beach or lake access to the public
  • Consider privacy and health/cleanliness standards
  • Look for property near light water currents so you can safely swim
  • Changes in water levels – the more constant the better
  • Potential storm damage
  • Properties facing west get more afternoon sun (South of Francce); properties facing south and east in areas with year-round warm weather (Caribbean)


Thanks to The New York Times.

Also read: Millennials Face Steep Climb to Homeownership, Sales of Existing Homes Spike +9.4% in September, Sales of Existing Homes Spike +9.4% in September

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