The Golden State has been something of a property hotspot ever since that very first gold rush two hundred years ago, but recent figures suggest that the top end of the market is looking better than ever. California’s luxury property market recorded a six-year high in 2013, with over 39,000 properties selling for more than $1 million: a 45% increase year on year. USA Today recently listed five Californian cities in their Top Ten Healthiest Housing Markets: San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego took up every position from first to fourth, with Sacramento not far behind in 10th place.
It’s speculated that the boost comes courtesy of a buoyant stock market, which has encouraged the state’s many billionaires to reinvest in property. California is also a friendly market for so-called ‘flippers’: people who buy and sell properties in quick succession in order to make a profit. It’s estimated that last year, flippers in the USA averaged a profit of $58,081 per property.
Malibu is living up to its reputation as the USA’s top priced property market, with an estate in the affluent resort topping last year’s sales chart at $74.5 million. As impressive as that is, the beachfront community has a long-standing history of commanding high prices. Set in a self-proclaimed ’27 miles of scenic beauty’, Malibu’s celebrity connections are well documented, with The Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio recently selling his Malibu property for $17.5 million, after using the property as a rental investment last summer to the tune of $150,000 a month.
Celebrities and California go hand in hand, so it’s not surprising to hear that many properties over the million-dollar mark were snapped up by the rich and famous. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is well known for her love of real estate – local designer Cliff Fong once observed that she “has moved more times than any person I know.” This year, the star sold her horse ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains and bought an estate valued at around $26.5 million in Santa Barbara. With so many beautiful properties in the state, you can hardly blame her for wanting to experience more than one.
California is also seeing increased interest from overseas, particularly China. One Chinese investor who recently purchased a home in Irvine, Brian Yang, recently explained to NBC that while investment isn’t the main reason for his purchase, it’s still a crucial consideration: “education in America is … world class, so the first one is for education, and I think the second one is for the property appreciation.” He plans to wait five years before moving to California, but in the meantime he’s wisely renting out his property and making a 5% return on his investment.
Whether you’re planning on buying or selling luxury property in California, the real estate experts at Engel & Völkers can help you every step of the way. Our retail spaces in Westlake Village, Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Newport Beach are perfectly placed to help you find your own Malibu dream house, L.A. apartment or beachfront condominium.
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