Sea Isle City's home values are rising in an increasingly upscale housing market.


Sea Isle City is becoming a pretty exclusive place to own a home.

Reflecting its ascent into the upscale housing market in recent years, Sea Isle ranks No. 25 in a recently released list of the New Jersey towns and cities having the most expensive homes.

The typical home value in Sea Isle was $1.3 million in December 2022, an increase of 13 percent compared to $1.1 million in December 2021, according to figures compiled by the online real estate giant Zillow and published by

“The last couple of years, the prices have really gone up – and stayed up,” said Nick Preuhs, a Sea Isle realtor with Long & Foster.

Sea Isle has joined some high-end company. Avalon, No. 2 at $2.8 million, Stone Harbor, No. 4 at nearly $2.7 million, Strathmere, No. 21 at nearly $1.4 million, and Cape May Point, No. 22 at just over $1.3 million, were the other Cape May County beach towns along with Sea Isle in New Jersey’s top 25 communities for home values.

Deal, the affluent Monmouth County shore resort, took the top spot in Zillow’s list with a typical home value of $3.3 million.

Overall, the typical statewide home value in New Jersey was nearly $475,000 in December 2022, according to Zillow.

Preuhs is not surprised that Sea Isle’s housing market is among the most expensive zip codes in New Jersey. Sea Isle’s home sales were red hot in 2021 and 2022 and continue to remain strong into the early part of 2023, he noted.

Sea Isle’s relatively low inventory of homes on the market is the primary reason that prices are so strong, Preuhs explained in an interview Saturday.

“There’s still not much inventory. That’s No. 1,” he said.

New home construction reflects Sea Isle’s trend for larger and more expensive houses.

Historically, there are about 100 homes for sale at any given time in Sea Isle, but the number is currently hovering at only 60, Preuhs pointed out.

Also helping to fuel the housing market are low interest rates. Although mortgage rates have been rising lately, they still remain relatively low compared to historic levels.

“Even with rates still increasing, we’re still selling. Prices are still up,” Preuhs said.

Relatively low interest rates are crucial for bringing in more investors and vacation home buyers at the shore.

“Interest rates are really the lifeblood of our market,” Preuhs said. “We kind of live and die with interest rates.”

At the height of Sea Isle’s housing boom in 2021 and 2022, it wasn’t uncommon for bidding wars to break out among multiple would-be buyers and for homes to sell well above the list price.

On average, homes in Sea Isle were selling for about 99 percent of their list price at the market’s peak. Currently, they are selling at 97.5 percent of the list price, Preuhs said.

“It hasn’t really dipped a lot,” he said. “Especially in the last two weeks, we’re getting busy again as summer is coming and people want to be at the shore.”

Although there is a shortage of homes currently up for sale in Sea Isle, the construction of new duplexes is helping the market to sustain its momentum, Preuhs said.

In the new construction category, the ever-popular duplexes continue to dominate Sea Isle. Altogether, 28 new duplex units were built in 2022. Six single-family homes rounded out the rest of the new construction in 2022, according to figures compiled by Sea Isle’s construction office.

Buyers should expect to pay in the neighborhood of $1.8 million for half of a newly built duplex in the north end or midsection of Sea Isle and $1.9 million in the south part of the island, Preuhs said.

But for buyers looking for something even more exclusive, a single-family, seven-bedroom oceanfront home on 56th Street is currently on the market for $6.2 million.

This oceanfront home on 56th Street is on the market for $6.2 million. (Courtesy of Long & Foster)

As housing prices reach higher levels, an emerging trend among Sea Isle’s homeowners is to renovate and update properties that were built about 40 years ago and have begun showing their age.

“The older houses from the ’80s are getting a major makeover. It’s the modernization of the 1980s homes to today’s standards. People want to update them,” said Neil Byrne, Sea Isle’s construction official.

Byrne said renovations are in favor now because owners realize they can save money by updating their older houses or duplexes instead of tearing them down and building brand new homes in Sea Isle’s increasingly upscale real estate market.