After a difficult 2023 that saw home sales slowed by higher interest rates, there may be good news on the horizon for some homeowners. A recent study from Realtor.com predicts that some markets will see double-digit increases in value next year, and if you live in one of these California cities, you may be in the money.
Thousand Oaks, California, is already one of America’s most well-heeled suburbs and offers just about everything homebuyers want: great schools, a low crime rate and a high quality of life. It’s routine for homes in the city’s tree-lined streets to sell for over $1 million.
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Perhaps the only thing Thousand Oaks lacks that Southern California homebuyers may want is oceanfront real estate. If that’s what tickles your fancy, both Oxnard and Ventura would fit the bill. Home prices in these cities have been lower than in Thousand Oaks for years, but they are rising. The average home price for the Thousand Oaks-Oxnard-Ventura corridor is currently $443,887, with Thousand Oaks much higher than the other two cities.
The area is a strong draw for Angelenos looking to stay in Southern California but avoid the high prices of Los Angeles. This all contributes to why the area is forecast to get a 21.3% bump in home prices next year.
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San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad
The San Diego area has always been one of California’s best-kept secrets. San Diego offers a host of world-class attractions, including a great location on the coast, a fabulous downtown nightlife district in the Gaslamp Quarter and an outstanding quality of life.
This city’s original claim to fame was because of its proximity to a U.S. naval base and training station and as a gateway to Mexico, but almost anyone who spends time there becomes enamored with the city’s combination of safety, warm weather and livability.
All this explains why California’s best-kept secret is not a secret anymore. San Diego has shed its reputation as a Navy town and become one of the jewels in California’s crown.
The same is true for its outlying suburbs of Chula Vista and Carlsbad. Property values there have been surging since the COVID-19 pandemic — so much so that the average home price flirted with the $1.1 million mark over the summer. Although there has been a slight pullback in value to $999,000, the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad corridor is forecast to see a 16.3% gain in property values for 2024.
Riverside and San Bernardino counties make up what is known as the Inland Empire because of their location about 50 miles inland from the coast. For much of the 20th century, Riverside was more famous for its endless orange groves and farmland, but the area began to experience a population surge in the 1980s and 1990s because of its affordability and relative proximity to Los Angeles.
Although the commute from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles is one of the state’s most brutal drives, the combination of affordable housing and the ability to remain close to L.A. has kept these markets viable for decades. Now, infrastructure like the Ontario International Airport and a sustained building boom have turned the Inland Empire into a destination area. The Inland Empire has matured and features many quality employers.
Both Riverside and San Bernardino have a variety of income levels along with plenty of new or relatively new housing stock. As recently as 2018, the average home price in the Inland Empire was $400,000. It has since surged to $584,000. That’s still a lot of money, but it’s about half of what you might pay for an average home in San Diego, Los Angeles or Orange County. Continued growth is expected for 2024, with prices set to jump by 15.8%
California Still Has Strong Appeal
The Realtor.com survey shows that despite many people leaving California because of high home prices, the state retains a strong appeal with buyers. Los Angeles may get all the headlines, but its popularity has expanded into the outlying counties. That’s why Ventura, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino are forecast to experience continued growth in home prices for 2024. If you’re fortunate enough to own property in one of these cities, 2024 could be another strong year.
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