Destin and 30A Real Estate… What Are the Differences? Advantages?


This issue, Kerry Veach, co-owner of RE/MAX Southern Real Estate, and Jerry Sullivan and Johnathan Hughes of Century 21 Blue Marlin Real Estate talk about the actual numbers of the market sales and key differences in each market’s value.


Veach has been a licensed real estate broker in Florida and Alabama for over 22 years and is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.


Sullivan has been involved in commercial and residential real estate for over 14 years, including management, construction and ownership of a successful real estate company here on the Emerald Coast.


Hughes is a market expert on 30A real estate.


Beachcomber readers are encouraged to submit real estate questions to

By Kerry Veach
RE/MAX Southern Real Estate
Office 850.269.9999


The luxury real estate market in both Destin and 30A is experiencing high demand. Buyers from all around the world are investing in the Emerald Coast. That said, when it comes to a comparison between Destin and 30A, 30A is in a class all its own.


Throughout the recession, circa 2008, prices for luxury real estate on 30A have remained consistent and are actually steadily increasing. This year, 170 homes on 30A priced at more than $2 million have sold and closed, compared to 23 homes in the same price range in Destin.


To really demonstrate the difference between the two markets, consider a 7,594-square-foot home on 30A sold for $12.5 million, whereas an 8,020-square-foot home in Sandestin sold for $7.3 million.


In the Destin condo market, a new complex named 1900 Ninety Eight is under construction. It will consist of 10 units, and the 4,556-square-foot penthouse is currently pending at $3.3 million. The cost per square foot averages $735.


However, at Costa Blanca, one of 30A’s newest condo complexes in Alys Beach, the 4,079-square-foot penthouse is pending at $4.2 million. With 14 units available, the price per square foot is a phenomenal $1,041.


While Destin and 30A both offer access to the same stunning beaches, they offer different amenities, attractions, and have a distinct character. The desire to be on 30A—with its unique beach towns, local shops and eateries—is driving the market price there higher. Of course, this is the result of 30A being such a highly sought after vacation destination. Affluent travelers make their way to 30A year-round, staying at places like Adagio in Blue Mountain Beach. As it grows in popularity, it will be interesting to see the market react.

By Jerry Sullivan & Johnathan Hughes
Century 21 Blue Marlin
(850) 837 7800


When talk of Florida’s Emerald Coast comes about, there are often two beachside areas that come to mind—Destin and 30A, where the water seems to splash crystal-clear and the sand shines whiter than pure driven snow. Century 21 Blue Marlin is a firm believer that no wrong decision can be made when it comes to purchasing a home at the beach, but it’s worth noting the neighboring communities’ differences.


Destin, located in Okaloosa County, continues to be a growing “Destin-ation” for families seeking a beachside vacation or those looking for a more permanent change of scenery. Widely known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin also harbors world-class resorts and rentals, and some of the best shopping and dining you can find. The shoreline of Destin stretches for 24 miles, and over 60 percent of these beaches are private or protected.


30A, short for Scenic Highway 30A, is an 18.5-mile corridor just off Highway 98 that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida’s Walton County. This stretch of sugar-fine white beaches and clear Gulf water holds a diverse wonderland of sea oat-covered dunes, hike-able pine forests and rare coastal dune lakes.


Comparatively, Destin and 30A are not competing for buyer’s affection, as each offers something the other does not. In short, the differences are what makes each so special.


Destin is a mega-beach destination dotted with luxurious condominiums and few beachfront homes, whereas the laid-back 30A is primarily beach homes, cottages and villages with very few towering condominiums because of the county’s height restrictions.


Destin is decorated with beachfront restaurants each offering menus and views even better than the last. When it comes to beachfront dining along 30A, your choices are limited but still delicious.


When it comes to supporting the local economy (a/k/a shopping), Destin boasts premium shopping like Destin Commons with name brand favorites like Bass Pro Shops, Victoria’s Secret and H&M. 30A is home to a number of one-of-a-kind boutiques, most often times showcasing local designers or art.


You can easily get your line wet from either location, but the means by which you do so varies. Hop on board one of Destin’s charter boats docked throughout the harbor or snag a ride from one of the local fisherman taking off from right along Grayton Beach.


No matter where you decide to plant your roots along Florida’s Emerald Coast, Century 21 Blue Marlin is best suited to find a spectacular investment for you and your family.

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