Real Estate Term of the Day – Littoral Land

Littoral Land refers to land that is located next to a pooled body of water, like a lake or a sea. It is not to be confused with riparian land, which is land located next to flowing waterways like rivers. Because littoral land can also be used to describe ocean-front property, the property associated with it is usually quite expensive. Or, if it is not yet developed, it is often purchased by developers so they can put hotels or condos on it for a steep price.

Something that goes along with littoral properties are littoral rights. The littoral rights refer to the rights of the water as opposed to the land, and must be considered when purchasing or developing littoral land. These can affect where you can build your property and what ownership you have over the water it borders. For example, landowners with littoral rights have unrestricted access to the waters but own the land only to the median high-water mark. In addition, water rights are attached to the land and not the owner, so the rights do not change no matter how the property value changes or how many times it switches hands.

Littoral land and the rights associated with it are important because water rights are often a hot button issue in communities, and with the country’s economy as a whole. Many investors these days look to water as a resource to diversify their portfolio. Because water is a finite resource that is threatened by population growth and aging infrastructure, littoral land and littoral rights are likely to become a major talking point in the real estate industry in the coming years.

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