BAM Key Details: 

  • A news article on Realtor.com reveals the most affordable beach towns in America for 2024, starting with Pascagoula, MS, which replaced last year’s frontrunner, Gulfport, MS. 
  • This year’s list also has two West coast beach towns and an upscale Cape Cod location. 

The sun is shining, Memorial Day is just around the corner, and your favorite beach town is calling your name. 

It’s tempting, too, to start looking through properties in the area for a summer home. A nice hotel can be a treat now and then, but a place of your own, furnished to your tastes, sounds so much homier and more inviting. 

The problem? Properties in popular beach havens typically come with higher price tags. And the ones that don’t are usually run down or too far away from the beach (or both). 

So, how do you find a beach home that suits your budget and your penchant for walkable neighborhoods? 

A new article on Realtor.com® reveals the most affordable beach towns in America for 2024. They’ve made a few adjustments to their methodology for this year’s ranking. And while Miisissippi’s Gulf Shore still takes the lead, Pascagoula, MS, now ranks at number one in place of last year’s top beach town, Gulfport, MS. 

Bernie O’Sullivan, a senior loan officer with Delmar Mortgage, has lived in Pascagoula for over 60 years. 

“We’re a small town, where everybody knows everybody else. We have a huge beach park where they bring in music several times a year. … It’s a very laid-back town, with beautiful sunsets.”

Pascagoula-beach-pier-image

This year’s top 10 most affordable beach towns:

  1. Pascagoula, MS — March 2024 median list price: $164,900
  2. Atlantic City, NJ — $239,900
  3. Deerfield Beach, FL — $239,950
  4. Dennis Port, MA — $277,500
  5. Myrtle Beach, SC — $299,500
  6. Corpus Christi, TX — $315,000
  7. Sunset Beach, NC — $340,000
  8. Grande Isle, LA — $375,000
  9. Newport, OR — $399,950
  10. Ocean Shores, WA — $425,000

This year’s top 10 list includes two West Coast beach towns: Newport, OR, at number nine, and Ocean Shores, WA, at number 10. The list also includes an upscale Cape Cod location—Dennis Port, MA—with its abundance of compact beach bungalows. 

Minor caveat: Some of the beach towns listed for 2024 made the top 10 thanks to their abundance of condos, which generally come with a lower price tag compared to detached single-family homes, bringing down the median list price for the area. Condos can be an excellent first step into homeownership, but first-time homebuyers may not be aware of the added cost of homeowner association fees, which are not included in the median price calculations and can have a significant impact on affordability. 

Rankings also do not factor in the cost of flood insurance, which can be a considerable expense for many coastal homeowners. Some areas have seen sharp increases in their flood insurance premiums—most notably in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. 

A few words about methodology

To identify the most affordable beach towns for its 2024 list, Realtor.com® researchers started with a federal database of beaches and their locations. Using a list they created of coastal cities and towns, they ranked them by March 2024 median list prices for single-family homes, including condos but excluding mobile homes. 

Every coastal city in the running had at least 25 active listings for the month. They also had to include a sandy, public-access ocean beach within the city limits. 

For the sake of geographic diversity, only one beach town per state was allowed in the top 10. 

Read the full article on Realtor.com® to learn more, including details on each of the beach towns on this year’s list.