Hat tip to Rob Dawg who sent in this article that suggests Salinas ranks higher than San Diego and Ventura! I cannot find the 60 metro areas on the luxury list they talk about here so not sure about the overall rankings.
Coastal California has seen a surge of interest as buyers continue to expand out from urban hubs in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Four Golden State beach spots jumped into the top 10 on the luxury segment of the second Wall Street Journal/realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index, released Tuesday.
They include Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, California, in the No. 1 spot; San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande, California, at No. 5; and Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, California, taking the ninth slot on the ranking, the data showed. Salinas, whose greater metro area includes the highly affluent Monterey area, also made the top 10, ranking No. 8 on the index.
These regions, all north of Los Angeles, offer space for affluent families to continue working and schooling from home without having to entirely pull up roots from California.
“In general, there’s a trend toward areas with less density,” Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com, told Mansion Global. “Buyers are looking for places that are less crowded, where they can spread out and have privacy.”
The index, based on June housing data, uses a slate of indicators to assess the prosperity of emerging housing markets. Those include growth in housing supply and demand; median listing prices; unemployment; wages; a cost of living measure; small businesses; amenities and the share of foreign-born residents—who contribute to the vitality and diversity of the area. In its second edition, local real estate taxes have also been considered.
The 60 metropolitan areas reviewed within the luxury segment of the Emerging Housing Markets Index are ranked based on housing data for the top 1% of each market and the weighted sum of those metrics to determine which have the hottest high-end markets.
California has a mix of densities, from big cities to small towns, Ms. Hale continued, which gives affluent buyers options when they are looking for a new residence. That bodes well for markets in what have traditionally been second-home destinations, such as Santa Barbara’s extremely affluent Montecito and Malibu, but also attractive under-the-radar coastal locales like Oxnard.
“The top markets in the mainstream ranking tend to be not necessarily vacation-oriented spots,” Ms. Hale said of the overall, non-luxury rankings, of which Billings, Montana, came in No. 1 this time around. “That’s not true for luxury.”
The influx from more dense areas like Los Angeles is certainly evident in Santa Barbara, according to Billy Rose, co-founder and vice-chairman of The Agency.
“There are bidding wars on nearly every property,” he said. “Homes are being resold not very long after they were purchased for high premiums and agents are peddling pocket listings more than ever.”