When it comes to property, there’s a lot more to this bountiful state than just its natural appeal – or even what it has to offer culturally. Its housing costs are high, but they’re also remarkably stable, so it’s difficult for a savvy investor to make a loss. With a lot of pressure on the lower end of the market, a small amount of renovation can guarantee a good sale price or rental income. At the upper end, it’s all about marketing – catching the eye of the aspirational customer who is essentially looking to purchase a lifestyle.
After a long period of lying flat, the indications are that California’s property market is about to undergo some serious growth. America’s emergence from recession means prices on mid-range housing is finally breaking through the $500k ceiling that has kept the industry stagnant for the past three years. This trend is expected to gather steam quickly during the next few months, so investors should move quickly if they want to capitalize on it.
Finding a good deal
When most people thing of California, they think of San Francisco or LA, but away from the big cities, the property market is much more mixed and bargains can be found. The smaller communities along the coast are gradually becoming fashionable with people moving from elsewhere, and there are properties up in the mountains that have double appeal – as accommodation for creative types who only need occasional access to the cities, and as retirement homes. Finding the next up and coming scenic location can be worth a lot.
Meet the expert
As the founder of Investec Real Estate, the biggest real estate management company in the state, Kenny Slaught is one of the foremost authorities on California property. Starting out in Santa Barbara in the early ‘eighties, he quickly established himself as a man who could make the real estate business viable even during difficult times, and his company now manages over $675m in assets. Kenny Slaught's blog is a great place to pick up tips on what’s happening in the market.
The attraction of California isn’t likely to fade anytime soon, and with incomes now back on the up, more and more people are hoping to make their dream of living there into a reality. Good investments could set you up very well, boost your own income and leave you with assets that could one day provide your own retirement home. When it comes down to it, everybody wants a place in the sun.