shore thing

Charming Gulf Coast community named one of the most affordable beach towns in U.S.

Sunny Gulf Coast city named one of U.S.' most affordable beach towns

Rockport Texas sunset coast
Rockport is one of the best beach town values in the U.S. Photo by Cissy Beasley via Visit Rockport Fulton

With the Lone Star State in the midst of a nation-topping land grab, real estate — especially reasonably priced — is getting harder to find, particularly near the water. Consider Galveston Bay homes, such as this one going for more than $3 million.

To that end, a new report from Realtor.com offers welcome news for those in search of Texas homes near the beach that won’t break the bank.

Rockport, Texas, a coastal community about a three-hour drive from Houston, lands at No. 7 on Realtor.com’s list of most affordable beach towns. The charming Gulf Coast town’s average home list price is $435,112. Rockport is popular for its “clean beaches, fantastic fishing, and world-class birdwatching,” per the report.

The town offers 10 different sites on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. That trail boasts the planet’s sole migrating flock of over 265 whooping cranes, which passes through the Aransas Wildlife Refuge every winter.

Here, waterfront homes start in the mid $400,000s, the report notes, with standouts including a $449,000 two-bedroom townhouse with lovely views of the Aransas Bay and a three-story, two-bedroom house on Mustang Island on the market for $599,900.

To generate the list, Realtor.com’s team surveyed the median home list prices of more than 1,300 towns located across America’s coastlines from May 2021 through April 2022. These areas had at least 30 homes for sale in April (not including pending transactions), the report adds.

Properties must actually be on the water and not just nearby to qualify for the list, and be “more than just a strip of sand and surf” and have diverse entertainment.

“The U.S. has over 95,000 miles of shorelines,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, noted in the list. “But most people, when they think of beach towns, they focus on a few dozen destinations. However, there are a lot of hidden gems, which offer all the benefits of seaside living at a much lower price.”

America’s cheapest beach town according to Realtor.com is Atlantic City, New Jersey, with a median list price of $161,754. Tiverton, Rhode Island is the priciest of the cheap deals, with a median home price of $480,262.

Here’s the full list, per Realtor.com.

1. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Median list price: $161,754

2. Deerfield Beach, Florida
Median list price: $230,071

3. New London, Connecticut
Median list price: $242,392

4. Mastic Beach, New York
Median list price: $334,907

5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Median list price: $347,875

6. Seal Beach, California
Median list price: $400,338

7. Rockport, Texas
Median list price: $435,112

8. Lynn, Massachusetts  
Median list price: $449,626

9. Morehead City, North Carolina
Median list price: $464,842

10. Tiverton, Rhode Island
Median list price: $480,262