Blomquist: u201cHomes located in quality beach towns benefit from virtually unlimited demand and a finite supply of land to build on.u201d

IRVINE, CA—According to a recent report from RealtyTrac, the top 20 beach-town housing markets in the country are mostly located in the West—Hawaii and California, to be exact—with the remainder in Florida. The firm rated markets based on home values, weather, air quality and crime rates.

For the report, RealtyTrac first selected the top 100 best beach towns based on four criteria: average temperature, percent of sunny days, percent of days with good air quality and crime rates. The top 100 towns based on these criteria were then sorted by median value of single-family homes and condos, from lowest to highest. The top 20 markets all had median home values below $1 million.

According to Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, “Buying near the beach is one of the best ways to ensure a property will appreciate in value. Whether buying for retirement, a vacation home or a primary residence, homes located in quality beach towns benefit from virtually unlimited demand and a finite supply of land to build on.”

Hawaii accounted for 11 of the top 20 beach-town housing markets, the most of any state, led by Waianae in Honolulu County on the island of Oahu. Waianae has an average temperature of 76 degrees, 74% sunny days and 100% days with good air quality and a relatively low median home value of $309,328. Other Hawaii beach towns among the top 20 were Wailuku at #4, Kahului at #7 Kihei at #9 and Lahaina at #12—all on the island of Maui—and Ewa Beach at #8, Waipahu at #10, Honolulu at #13, Pearl City at #14, Kaneohe at #15 and Kailua at #18—all on the island of Oahu.

Meanwhile, five California beach towns were in the top 20, led by Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast of the state. The town of about 15,000 had an average temperature of 60 degrees, 78% sunny days, 100% good air-quality days and an A crime-rate grade. Its $418,403 median home value was the lowest among all California beach towns on the list and ranked it #6 among the top 20.

Other California beach towns among the top 20 were Morro Bay at #11, also on the state’s Central Coast, along with the Orange County towns of Dana Point at #16, Seal Beach at #17 and San Clemente at #19.

Four of the top 20 were in Florida, led by Hobe Sound, a town of less than 15,000 located in Martin County. The market has an average temperature of 76 degrees, 64% sunny days, 98% of days with good air quality and a crime grade of A+. The town ranked #1 on the list thanks to its low median estimated market value of homes and condos of $191,189.

For the complete list of top 20 beach-town housing markets, click here.

As GlobeSt.com reported earlier this month, the number of US homes repossessed by banks rose 4% in April from a year ago, despite the fact that total US foreclosure activity decreased 1% from the previous month and 20% from April 2013. According to a report from RealtyTrac, bank REOs were reported on 115,830 properties nationwide last month, and one in every 1,137 housing units had a foreclosure filing during April.