Amelia Island is a stunning barrier island located in the northernmost portion of Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Despite being only 13 miles long and 4 miles wide at its widest point, this island is home to a wealth of wonders, including world-class beaches, an eclectic shopping and dining district, and a unique historical heritage.
If you’re planning to buy, invest in, or sell a property here, let this guide help you navigate Amelia Island and its real estate market:
Table of contents:
- What is Amelia Island Known For?
- Amelia Island Real Estate
- Recent Market Trends in Northeast Florida
- Living in Amelia Island
- Amelia Island Communities
What is Amelia Island Known For?
Amelia Island is known as the Isle of the Eight Flags and is the only place in the United States to have been under eight different flags. Its rich history goes as far back as 400 years, beginning with the early Timucuans and Spanish explorers. The island had witnessed major events in US history, such as the French and British colonization, the Mexican revolution, the American Civil War, and the Gilded Age.
Fernandina BeachFernandina Beach takes up the northern and central part of Amelia Island. Established in the late 1800s, Fernandina Beach was one of Florida’s first tourist destinations. Today, it is Nassau County’s largest municipality and county seat, famous for its 50-block Victorian historic district, golden beaches, year-round cultural events, and one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experience.
Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch State Park is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts. Its location at the northernmost part of Amelia Island made it a strategic site during the Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War II, during which it served many purposes: as a contested point of control between the Confederacy and the Union, as a barracks and ammunition depot, and as a joint operations center for surveillance and communications. Today, in addition to being a monument to America’s rich history, it is also a 1,400-acre park filled with live oaks and coastal wildlife where you can go camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
American Beach is located on the southern portion of Amelia Island. Founded in 1935 by Abraham Lincoln Lewis, it originally served as a resort community for African American Southerners and had expanded over the years. The 33 acres that made up the original American Beach resort is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to historic vacation homes built in that era. The area has become a highly sought after vacation destination, featuring recently built luxury high-rise condos and beachfront mansions.
Amelia Island Real Estate
Overview of Amelia Island’s housing market
Here’s a brief overview of Amelia Island’s real estate market:
A good time to buy. According to August 2021 market data from Realtor.com, there were around 669 homes for sale in Amelia Island, with listings ranging from $385,000 to $11.8M in price across various residential property types, and from $28,000 to over $5M for vacant lots and acreages. The sale-to-list price ratio was at 98.85%, with homes sold for 1.15% below asking price. Compared to the rest of Florida, homebuyers and property investors will find more options in Amelia Island, and potentially an easier time in negotiating the selling price.
Median sale price. Based on market data from the Amelia Island – Nassau County Association of Realtors, the median sale price for single-family homes as of May, 2021 was $365,000, an increase of 14.3% year-over-year. Condominiums were sold at higher prices during the same month with a median sale price of $479,950, trending up 23.9% year-over-year.
Housing types. Single-family detached homes account for 70.31% of Amelia Island’s housing units, making it the most common housing type in the city. Other prevalent housing types include large apartment complexes (12.87%), small apartment buildings (9.24%), and attached homes like townhouses (7.35%).
Age of homes. Most of the housing units in Amelia Island were built during the 1970s to the late 1990s. A substantial number of homes were built after 2000, while others were built before the late 1960s.
Appreciation rates. Since 2000, Amelia Island real estate has appreciated around 171.02%, making it one of the best long-term real estate investment areas in America in the last 10 years. With an annual appreciation rate of 16.07%, Amelia Island properties have a higher appreciation rate than around 76% of communities nationwide and 60% of other cities or towns in Florida.
- Features of top appreciating homes. Homes with a 2-car garage are appreciating in value more than two times faster than other properties in Amelia Island. Properties with 1 full bathroom have appreciated more than 55% faster, 2-bedroom properties have appreciated 33% faster, and homes with swimming pools have appreciated 25% faster.
Homeownership rates. Around 73.5% of Amelia Island residents own their homes (73.5%), while the rest are renters.
Given Florida’s subtropical environment, most homes on Amelia Island are bungalows or split-levels, mostly built in variations of craftsman, shingle, or Spanish Modern architectural styles. Higher-priced properties tend to have contemporary designs.
Common property features include:
- Lot size: From 0.25 to over 5 acres
- Rooms: 3 to 6 bedrooms and 1 to 3.5 bathrooms
- Interior features: Many homes have high ceilings, open floor plans, walk-in pantries or storage rooms, laundry and utility rooms, and bonus rooms that can be converted into an office space, den, or game room.
- Exterior amenities: Popular features include a screened patio area, a 2 to 3-car garage with a private driveway, and an in-ground pool
Amelia Island is called an “undiscovered coastal paradise” for a reason. With 13 miles of white sandy beaches stretching along its eastern border, and Amelia River and St. Mary’s River branching out into several creeks and lakes all over the area, it’s clear that the island has a wealth of waterfront properties. Some waterfront homes are even listed for prices as low as $370,000, depending on factors such as location and home amenities.
Waterfront homes and condos are available in most residential communities in Amelia Island, including beachfront properties around S. Fletcher Avenue/Simmons Road and the Franklintown area, as well as riverfront and lakefront homes in O’Neil and American Beach. Along with extra amenities like outdoor kitchens and living spaces, these properties are often reinforced with window treatments and hurricane shutters, and subject to certain covenants and restrictions.
There are also a variety of beachfront condominiums on the island, with prices ranging from $480,000 to $3,450,000. Typical features include:
- Property size: Unit sizes range from 948 to over 3,340 square feet
- Rooms: 2 to 3 bedrooms and 2 to 4 bathrooms
- Special features: Popular features include floor to ceiling windows, vaulted ceilings, private elevators, gas fireplaces, wet bars, and expansive covered balconies with scenic ocean views.
- Condo amenities: Condominium properties come with exclusive amenities such as community pools, private beach access, community boat docks or piers, and more.
There are many good reasons why luxury home prices in Amelia Island are often in the multimillion dollar range. For starters, these properties typically boast spacious living areas of around 3,269 to more than 11,8oo square feet, typically with 3 to 9 bedrooms and 4 to 8.5 bathrooms.
Most of these properties are custom homes with a Mediterranean or shingle architectural style, which is often found in coastal Florida. However, there are also luxury properties that try to highlight the history of Amelia Island by incorporating features drawn from Victorian, Georgian, and colonial architecture.
Moreover, luxury homes are either new construction properties or recently renovated and updated. As such, you can expect features like:
- The latest smart home technology
- Cutting-edge appliances
- Balconies, terraces, or patio areas with breathtaking views
Opulent amenities such as a home theater, game room, library or office, sauna, wine cellar, in-ground pool, and more
- Access to exclusive community facilities and services like private beaches, bike paths, nature or jogging trails, playgrounds, golf courses, community docks or pools, and 24/7 security
Recent Market Trends in Northeast Florida
2020 was a tumultuous but robust year for the Northeast Florida Housing Market
The housing market slowed down when COVID-19 first hit in the spring of 2020, only to make a strong comeback in the second half of the year, with the momentum continuing into 2021. According to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, pending sales and closed sales increased by 12.9% and 8.2% respectively in 2020. Inventories reached record lows, and overall median sales prices went up by 9%.
Home price rates are slowing down
In June 2021, Northeast Florida real estate experts noted that, while prices aren’t going down, rates have started to look less like a skyrocketing trajectory and more of a gentle incline. This means that the pandemic house buying frenzy in Florida is finally calming down, and buyers may now have an easier time negotiating for better prices.
The demand for multifamily properties is driving the market
With remote work becoming the norm, many people are looking to relocate to towns and cities that can offer a higher quality of life and lower cost of living. As a result, the Jacksonville metropolitan statistical area – which includes Amelia Island – is seeing rising rent prices, lower vacancy rates, and greater demand for multifamily developments.
This high demand for rentals and anticipated high rent growth is good news for investors in the area, as they can anticipate substantial returns.
Living in Amelia Island
Whether you’re a homebuyer planning to relocate or an investor looking to do diversify your portfolio with Amelia Island real estate, it’s crucial to learn as much as you can about the community and the economy. Here are some key details about Amelia Island’s residents and workforce:
It has a mostly urban population. Nassau County has a population of 88,630 (based on August 2021 data), and around 13,200 live in Amelia Island. Moreover, 89% of Amelia Island residents live in urban clusters, while the rest live in rural properties and communities.
It has a growing work force and economy. Nassau County has a labor force of roughly 42,400 people, and an unemployment rate of 4% (based on 2021 data). The tourism industry in Amelia Island is Nassau County’s largest job creator, as well as a major driver of its economy. Other top employment industries in the city include healthcare and education.
It is a city of artists and telecommuters. Fernandina Beach has more artists, designers, and media professionals than 90% of the communities in America. Moreover, it ranks among the highest in the country. This includes knowledge-based, white-collar professionals who do remote work or are self-employed workers operating small businesses from home.
Amelia Island Communities
Amelia Island Plantation
This master-planned community offers its residents a wide range of luxury attractions and community activities, such as The Oaks community center, Canopy Crossing, and proximity to the various shops, restaurants, spas, and recreational facilities at the Amelia Island Club and Omni Amelia Island Resort.
Amelia Park is Northeast Florida’s first Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) community, which emphasizes community-building and connectivity. As such, this environmentally sustainable and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood provides well-designed homes and condominiums that are within walking distance of parks, commercial establishments, community services, and educational facilities.
This well-established community is in high demand because of its premier location at the heart of Amelia Island. Sitting at the west side of Egans Creek, it’s only minutes away from Amelia Island’s beach access points and all the shops and restaurants along S. Fletcher Avenue. Egans Bluff is also near the Fernandina Beach Golf Club and Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport.
This community features a mix of midsize established homes and new construction properties, as well as a community playground, basketball court, and serene lakes. Its location between the I-95 and Amelia Concourse provides easy access to grocery stores, retail outlets, and restaurants along the state road.
Historic Fernandina Beach
Downtown Fernandina Beach is a U.S. historic district that encompasses around 50 blocks of historically preserved buildings, residential properties, locally owned shops, and restaurants. Many of Amelia Island’s annual events and festivals take place in this colorful community, such as the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, and Dickens on Centre festival.
Isle de Mai
This centrally located residential community is perfect for those who want to experience peaceful island living. Residents enjoy beautiful landscaping, walkable and bike-friendly streets, and a community pool and cabana area. It’s also just a few minutes away from best that Amelia Island has to offer: the lively streets of Historic Fernanda Beach, the pristine white beaches along S. Fletcher Avenue, and the golf courses and parks in Amelia City.
This gorgeous community highlights the natural beauty of Amelia Island’s native plants and wildlife. Located along the banks of Lofton Creek, the community offers fishing or kayaking at the Lofton Creek Outpost and Reflection Park. North Hampton has an open space design and includes numerous amenities such as sports fields, lakes, tennis and basketball courts, a family-friendly Amenity Center, and the Arnold Palmer-designed North Hampton Golf course.
Surrounded by the scenic waters and marshes of St. Mary’s River, Oyster Bay is an exclusive coastal community with its own full-service Yacht Club and Marina. Members of the club have access to a swimming pool, outdoor bar, indoor and outdoor dining, and fitness facility. Oyster Bay also provides a Bay House and Pool, tennis courts, and a network of community nature trails for its residents.
Find Your Dream Home in Amelia Island Today
Three things can ensure a successful home buying journey or property investment venture: vast local knowledge, in-depth real estate experience, and a highly diverse skill set. We offer all this and more at Century 21 John T. Ferreira & Son, Inc.
Like Amelia Island, our real estate brokerage has a long and rich history. Lifelong resident John T. Ferreira began the company as a real estate and insurance agency in 1919. We became affiliated with world-renowned real estate organization Century 21 Real Estate LLC sixty years later. And today, Century 21 John T. Ferreira & Son Inc. continues to be a leader in the Fernandina Beach and Yulee, Florida real estate market, led by third-generation Broker Bobby Ferreira.
Although we’re nationally affiliated, we make it a priority to stay grounded on the Amelia Island community and culture. Our agents and sales representatives are highly qualified professionals who have established themselves in the communities we serve, and are committed to provide personalized and professional services to meet your unique needs.