Known as the “Quiet Resort”, Bethany Beach as a small Delaware coastal town nestled between two popular state parks. Also known for its extensive boardwalk-backed beach.
The Delaware Seashore State Park situated north of town offers a barrier island situated between the Indian River and Rehoboth bays with miles of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. South of town the Fenwick Island State Park offers a surf area and plenty of dunes.
Also, Holts Landing State Park just northwest of Bethany Beach provides a 203-acre park. Since 1965, visitors enjoy fishing, crabbing, and clamming on the shallow waters of the Indian River. Visitors also enjoy the park’s beautiful landscapes from sandy beaches to hardwood forests and grassy fields.
Bethany Beach Town
With a population of only a little more than 1,200 with 505 total housing units (apartments and homes), real estate becomes expensive.
The town consists of large single-family homes. Many homes contain four or more bedrooms. Owner-occupied housing accounts for 95.4% of Bethany Beach homes.
Most of the homes built between 1970 to 1999 give it a “Brady Bunch” look. Charming, large family homes near a popular beach. Most homes are seasonably occupied as vacation homes. Many are available as rentals during the summer season.
Thus, the Bethany Beach housing market illustrates its popularity as a vacation hub.
Bethany Beach Real Estate Market Trends for 2020
In 2018, Delaware media reported that fewer beach homes for sale drove up the prices.
USA Today’s Delaware Online site reported in July of 2018:
Many people living in colder temperatures now discover a “life of luxury in slower, lower Delaware”.
One family bought their North Bethany Beach neighborhood home in 2016 for $719,000. Two years later, if they decided to sell they would list it for $1 million.
Inventory is low and demands high. That’s because many people buy beach property to own and enjoy rather than as an investment property.
Yet, many baby boomers buy coastal Delaware properties because their children and grandchildren will want to visit them at the beach.
“Location, location” as the old saying goes is true here. The closer to the beach, the higher demand leading to higher prices.
Over the past year, Neighborhood Scout reports “an annual appreciation rate of 17.17%”. Over the past quarter, this makes Bethany Beach amongst the highest appreciation rates in the country.
Neighborhood Scout claims this town’s “latest annual appreciation rate higher than 50% of other Delaware cities and towns”.
Therefore, Bethany Beach offers future real estate investment strength for 2020.
Bethany Beach experienced an increase of 2% ($10,685) in median home sales during the past year. Also, during that time the average price per square foot rose from $464 to $541.
This chart demonstrates the rise:
Median Sales Price in Bethany Beach
No. Bedrooms – y-o-y 3 months prior 1 year prior
1 Bedroom – – – – –
2 Bedroom – – – –
3 Bedroom $450,000 (+ 27.1%) $376,000 $354,000
4 Bedroom $783,500 (+ 26.4%) $542,500 $620,000
All Properties $604,000 (+ 1.8%) $480,000 $593,315
As you can see, only 3 bedrooms to 4 bedroom homes sold in the past year. Their prices averaged an increase of over 26% over the past year.
The average for all properties was $604,000 showing a yearly increase of 1.8%.
Bethany Beach Demographics
For 2019, Bethany Beach demographics show:
Total population in 2019 = 1,202;
Over 53% = 63 years and over;
58% = college graduates;
5% = foreign born;
Per capita income = $52,512; and
Median household income = $78,889.
The Two Most Popular Neighborhoods in Bethany Beach
Knowing where to look first in Bethany Beach begins with the two most popular neighborhoods:
This neighborhood primarily offers medium-sized (3 to 4 bedroom) to larger (5 or more bedrooms) single-family homes. Most homes owner-occupied and built between 1970 to 1999.
Offering a unique time capsule in architectural styles. Often describes as “Charming”. This neighborhood distinguishes itself as having the most Austrian (6%) and Scottish (7.7%) ancestry neighborhood in America.
Like the Brighton Trl / Greenway neighborhood. Most homes consist of medium size (3 to 4 bedrooms) to larger (5 or more bedroom) single-family homes. Most owner-occupied and same “charming” architect style (1970 to 1999) homes.
Located near the waterfront making it a nautical neighborhood. Historic, walkable on the water. A very quiet and peaceful neighborhood. Perfect for educated, wealthy professionals. Most residents of Belgian (1.7%) and Irish (30.6%) ancestry.
Bethany Beach Restaurants
Relocating to Bethany Beach becomes easier when knowing the best restaurants in Bethany Beach.
[Note: All are 4.5 Stars except where noted below]
Off the Hook ranks as #1 from 683 reviews. As the name suggests, fresh seafood including favorites like crab cakes, lobster rolls, and swordfish.
Sunshine Crepes ranked #2 from 156 reviews. Fresh crepes filled with seafood or vegan and vegetarian options.
Cottage Cafe came in at #3 with 982 earning 4 Stars. Their crab soup filled with vegetables earned lots of praise.
Pomodoro Pizzeria ranks #4 from 92 reviews for Italian cuisine and pizzas with wonderful salads.
Patsy’s Restaurant ranked #5 by 181 reviewers. Their shrimp and grits along with their potato salad and asparagus got great reviews.
Bethany Blues BBQ Pit #6 ranking with 4 Stars from 539 reviews who especially loved their BBQ baby back ribs.
Sedona earned a #7 rank from 204 reviews. Their fresh crab meals and the summer salmon earned high marks.
The Blue Crab Restaurant #8 rank with 4 Stars from 264 reviews. Their crab legs got many good reviews.
DiFebo’s Restaurant ranks #9 with 4 Stars from 430 reviews. Seafood in Italian and Mediterranean style cuisine where their calamari and cioppino got good reviews.
Bluecoast Seafood Grill ranked #10 from 454 reviews who especially liked their halibut cheeks and local seafood.
Bethany Beach Schools
The Indian River School District oversees the Bethany Beach schools. Their website provides important information about their schools. They also provide links to the home page for each school in their district here.
You probably want to know about the best schools in or near Bethany Beach?
The Indian River School District oversees the schools in and near Bethany Beach.
Southern Delaware School of the Arts, a public grades K-8 school with 460 students earned an A- emphasizing arts and education.
Lord Baltimore Elementary School earned an A- offering public schooling for grades K-5 with 650 students.
Selbyville Middle School got a B+ as a public school teaching grades 6-8 with 690 students.
Indian River High School earning a B educating grades 8-12 with 940 students.
Bethany Beach relocation offers a “Quiet Resort” lifestyle near the beach.
We focused on the town, its demographics, real estate market trends, restaurants, and schools. Yet, so many fun outdoor activities in Bethany Beach exist. Check out our recent post here titled “Bethany Beach Things to Do”.
Plenty of seafood restaurants and good nearby schools for your entire family’s education and enjoyment.
Contact Us to find out about the many benefits of Bethany Beach relocation and the homes available to purchase.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger