Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-2013


The growing field of “surfonomics” attempts to document surfing’s economic contribution to local and regional communities, as well the consumer surplus surf breaks provide to millions of surfers. To date, no research has examined the extent to which the value of surf breaks is capitalized into home prices. This study uses the hedonic price method with data from three distinct beach-adjacent neighborhoods in Santa Cruz, CA to estimate whether proximity to surf breaks leads to higher home values. We find that after controlling for proximity to the beach, ocean views, the specific characteristics of the homes, and neighborhood effects, that proximity to surf breaks is a statistically significant contributor to overall home value. A home that is right next to a surf break is valued at approximately $106,000 more than an equivalent home a mile away.


Authors include Jason Scorse, Director of the Center for the Blue Economy and Chair of the International Environmental Policy master’s program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and two graduates of the International Environmental Policy masters program, Frank Reynolds (MAIEP “12) and Amanda Sackett (MAIEP “11).