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Research Article

Real estate market trends in the first new urbanist town: seaside, Florida


The Town of Seaside, Florida, built 40 years ago, is arguably still the highest-profile project of the New Urbanism Movement. Its significance as the original New Urbanist town persists despite the widespread adoption of many of the underlying design principles promoting walkable, ecologically sustainable, and economically diverse neighborhoods worldwide. Four decades provides a significant sample size to investigate sale price trends and fluctuations in single-family residential homes in Seaside. Morphological analysis of the town within the larger Walton County context serves as a background to this investigation. Based on the results, we find that high-price, large residential homes in Seaside were less resilient to sale price fluctuations than nearby smaller, lower-priced homes. We suggest this could offer evidence of the benefit of smaller homes for stabilizing housing markets during periods of economic downturn and distress.


The research in this paper expands on a short presentation at the New Urban Research Session of the Congress for New Urbanism 28 (CNU28.A Virtual Gathering) on 12 June 2020. It includes more background about Seaside, its design, and space syntax modeling as well as foundational material about space syntax itself. Open Access funding is provided by the Qatar National Library.

The economic data about sales prices in Seaside, Florida, from 1984-2018 is available from online mapping services of the Walton County, Florida Property Appraiser’s Office. "Walton County makes every effort to produce the most accurate information possible. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, its use or interpretation. The assessment information is from the last certified tax roll. All data is subject to change before the next certified tax roll." Link: http://qpublic.net/fl/walton/.

Additional mapping data, including shapefiles retrieved from the Walton County, Florida Interactive GIS Map, are available from the GIS Department of Walton County at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1096/County-Maps.

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).

Supplementary material

Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at https://doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2022.2071966

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