Why Invest in Central Coast Real Estate?
California’s Central Coast is widely known for its rocky cliffs, serene beaches, and panoramic ocean vistas along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, aka Highway One). The area is split into four regions, which from north to south, are: Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The six counties that make up the Central Coast are Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura (although the majority of Californians consider the latter two a part of Southern California).
The region is home to more than 2.3 million residents (all six counties counted), accounting for 6% of California’s population of almost 40 million. The top two industries in the Central Coast are agriculture (crops such as grapes for wine, strawberries, and lettuce) and tourism. In fact, many locals consider driving along the PCH to see the Central Coast’s 350 miles of serene coastline a rite of passage; the coastal route from Los Angeles to San Francisco (or vice versa) is called the Original Road Trip. With an abundance of white-sand beaches, hiking trails, and other recreational activities, the Central Coast is a quieter and more affordable place for families to reside in California.
Popular destinations like Big Sur, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and world-class wineries have given the region its tourist appeal. Located between Carmel and San Simeon, and with both the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains as its backdrop, Big Sur is probably the most well known destination in the Central Coast, with a myriad of campgrounds, beaches, state parks, cliffs, and trails for visitors to explore. Monterey Bay Aquarium and the surrounding Monterey and Carmel cities are beautiful areas—and the subject of many artworks by famous Californian painters.
- Oxnard and Ventura are among the most affordable California cities in which to live: Median home price is 517,938 and $606,653 for Oxnard and Ventura, respectively
- Santa Barbara is ranked #73 for the 2019 Best Places to Live; Salinas is #118 by U.S. News & World Report
- Median household income in the Central Coast is about $72,000, which is lower than the national average of $75,500
- Median home price in the Central Coast is $675,000, compared to the state average of $605,280 and the national average of $226,800
Northern Central Coast
Although Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties are known for their popular tourist hot spots and beaches, the Northern half of the Central Coast is also a popular place for people to settle down and raise their families. In Santa Cruz, home to some of the best redwood forests in the state), the median home sale price is $745,000 and median rent is $1,654 (compared to California’s average price of $506,000 and median rent of $2,800).
Monterey is a good choice for families who want to be close to the beach and the city’s world-famous aquarium. The media price for homes is just under $700,000 and median rent is similar to neighboring cities at $1,625.With under 500,000 residents, Salinas was recently ranked #118 (out of 125 US cities) for Best Places to Live by U.S. News & World Report. Although it is not directly on the ocean, like Monterey and Carmel, its proximity to the cities makes it a desirable suburban location.
For a more affordable option in the northern area of Central Coast, real estate investors will find that San Benito County has lower home prices (median price is $459,700) and above-average schools.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium - More than 35,000 animals, 550 species residing in 2.3 million gallons of water
- Big Sur - Mountainous and oceanic backdrop surrounding campgrounds, trails, and beaches
- Higher Education - University of Santa Cruz and CSU Monterey Bay
Southern Central Coast
San Luis Opisbo County comprises the central region of the state of California. SLO Magazine references the “SLO (slower way of) life” in this and the neighboring cities of the Central Coast, in comparison to the fast-paced life in big cities like LA and SF. Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties have some of the most affordable real estate housing options in California.
The city of San Luis Obispo is known as the “Happiest City in America”; it has a suburban, college-town feel, with just under 50,000 people residing here. The median home price is $750,000 and median rent is $2,625.
- Pismo Beach - Wineries and popular beaches; monarch butterflies migrate to Pismo Beach in cooler months annually
- Bubblegum Alley in downtown San Luis Obispo
- California Polytechnic State University - established in 1901, one of two polytechnic schools in California/li>
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