Interest in coastal homes along the Gulf Coast, where the 24-mile stretch of scenic Highway 30A is located, has exploded in recent years, and no one knows that better than Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida, the No. 1 brokerage firm on 30A and the only Gulf Coast firm with a dedicated new homes division.
Encompassing multiple seaside communities with unique architectural features — Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, WaterSound Beach, WaterColor and Santa Rosa Beach — the area has been seeing significant gains, with the demand for homes often exceeding supply.
At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the average sale price was $1.25 million, with homes averaging $454 per square foot — not exactly cheap, but neither is it outrageous for luxury beachfront property. When it comes to new construction, the average sale price drops to about $894,805, which is about $306 per square foot.
We recently sat down with John David Sullivan and Jimmy Burgess of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida to find out more about what makes 30A a wise investment for anyone looking for luxury real estate on this gorgeous stretch of Florida coastline.
“I grew up here in Walton County and we spent our summers on 30A. Back then we’d go to the beach in the mornings and you wouldn’t see anybody in either direction,” Burgess says. “Today you see people from all walks of life and all over the world. It’s a much more sophisticated local who comes here seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle.”
Even though many homeowners don’t live on 30A full time and treat it as a second home, the number of year-round locals continues to increase every year, as does the season, which traditionally lasted only the length of the summer.
“Now the season starts earlier and ends later, and we see homeowners coming back during the holidays and at other times of the year, too, because the weather is so consistently pleasant in this part of Florida,” Burgess says.
“Each community has its own personality,” Sullivan adds. “This is a livable beach community. What we have here is a sustainable lifestyle. We’re seeing more companies move in and they’re luring families. As a result, there is an increase in the number of private and public schools. The area is definitely growing.”
A simple drive through the area reveals that influx of families. “Almost everything can be reached via bike, and with so many dedicated trails to keep everyone safe, you can see families riding or walking to dinner,” Burgess says.
Whether you’re looking for a Gulf-front mansion or a no-frills condo, you can find it on 30A.
“We’re seeing home value averages experiencing 8 percent growth year over year -— that’s both healthy and sustainable,” Burgess says.
If you’re looking for a community that’s a throwback to a slower pace, a place filled with Southern charm, where you want to get to know your neighbors, 30A may be just what you’re looking for.
Says Sullivan, “It’s a unique lifestyle unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
Ana Connery is former content director of Parenting, Babytalk, Pregnancy Planner and Conceive magazines as well as parenting.com.
While editor in chief of Florida Travel & Life magazine from 2006-2009, she covered the state’s real estate and home design market as well as travel destinations.
She’s held senior editorial positions at some of the country’s most celebrated magazines, including Latina, Fitness and Cooking Light, where she oversaw the brand’s “FitHouse” show home.
Ana’s expertise is frequently sought after for appearances on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and CNN. She has interviewed the country’s top experts in a variety of fields, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and First Lady Michelle Obama.