But with so much real estate to get into, where should you start?
Finding the right market can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially while you are under the strain of a tightening economy.
Christina has four decades in Los Angeles real estate; through all sorts of ups and downs, we’ve found the kinds of real estate assets that produce on their return every time.
If you’re looking for high-value real estate that will sustain your portfolio, you should consider investing in Silicon Beach.
What Is Silicon Beach?
Silicon Beach is a nickname for the Westside region of Los Angeles, where an increased tech presence has transformed the economy. Its name is a spin-off of Silicon Valley to the north. The San Francisco valley has been a world-famous tech hub since the 1980s — now, Los Angeles is becoming a growing force in the tech world.
Los Angeles has been home to many commercial enterprises, but it’s never been known as a tech hub until recently.
Hollywood, for example, is synonymous with the film industry. Entertainment is a massive part of the Los Angeles economy. But only, within the past ten years, there has been a significant uptick in the number of tech companies setting up sprawling offices in the Westside region.
What’s The History Behind Silicon Beach?
The first signs of Los Angeles’ increased tech presence can be traced back to 2003, when Google set up its first office in Santa Monica after buying out a local company called Applied Sciences.
This was a beachhead for the future tech expansion into the Westside region. But Silicon Beach came into its own in 2011, when Google built a massive campus in Santa Monica to rival its primary headquarters in Northern California.
From 2011 on, all the big names in tech have set up offices in Silicon Beach. From tech behemoths like Microsoft and AOL to newcomers like Snap Inc. and YouTube, Silicon Beach has become a nexus for tech success stories, pulling in the best of the best into the country’s most sought-after neighborhoods.
Here are just a few companies that have set up shop in the Westside region of Los Angeles in Silicon Beach:
- Dollar Shave Club
- Oculus VR
- Riot Games
- Science 37
- Virgin Hyperloop One
What Are The Neighborhoods That Makeup Silicon Beach?
Silicon Beach is a fairly expansive region in Los Angeles, the Westside. This area generally starts west of La Cienega Blvd to the Pacific Coast, stopping to the north at the Santa Monica mountains.
Silicon Beach includes these neighborhoods:
- Playa Vista
- Playa Del Rey
- Santa Monica
Westside neighborhoods were already some of the most valuable in the city well before the area’s increased tech presence. Since it adopted its tech nickname, real estate in the Silicon Beach area has become some of the most lucrative in the country.
Let’s look at how some of these neighborhoods perform so you can see how effective Silicon Beach real estate is.
Playa Vista is a newcomer when it comes to Los Angeles neighborhoods. This neighborhood was predominantly wetlands until as recently as 2001 when the area’s development into a designated community began.
Its current boundaries are Lincoln Blvd to the west and Centinela Ave to the east. Its northern and southern borders are mostly natural; Ballona Creek to the north and the Westchester Bluffs to the south.
Current sale listings for Playa Vista homes range from around $900,000 to almost $2,000,000. Property values are only expected to increase; Playa Vista has a high concentration of tech companies for its size.
At the moment, there are 20 listings for Playa Vista.
Number of Housing Units in Playa Vista
There are about 6,685 housing units in Playa Vista. Of those units, around 6,129 are occupied. More than half are rented, while the household occupies the remaining 43%.
With so many renters in the area, Playa Vista presents an excellent opportunity for rental property ownership.
Playa Del Rey
Playa Del Rey means “beach of the king” in Spanish. This small community is tucked right on the coastline, with some of the most fantastic beach vistas Los Angeles offers. It’s also one of the innermost neighborhoods in the Silicon Beach community.
Its borders include Westchester Pkwy to the south and the Ballona Wetlands to the north. To its east, Playa Del Rey begins just after Lincoln Blvd and goes all the way westwards to the coast.
Playa Del Rey Property Value
Between its prime location right on the coast and its centrality in the Silicon Beach community, Playa Del Rey presents high-value real estate assets to investors. Current listings range anywhere from $600,000 to upwards of $4,000,000.
There are 32 Playa Del Rey listings on the market right now.
Number of Housing Units in Playa Del Rey
Playa Del Rey has 7,164 units of housing. Six thousand six hundred eighty-five are currently occupied, with just over half being renters.
The even split between homeowners and renters provides investors critical insight into the rental market for Playa Del Rey; up-and-coming tech professionals pay top dollar for properties in the heart of Silicon Beach.
Westchester retains the suburban charm that isn’t typically found in such happening parts of Los Angeles—it’s one of the least densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Its suburban feel has drawn many new additions from Silicon Beach, seeking a more quiet, spacious living space.
Its boundaries consist of the San Diego Fwy to its northeast. The Imperial Highway to the south. Pershing Drive and a collection of other streets make up its western boundary.
Because it’s home to LAX, the busiest airport in western North America, it’s a crucial component of Silicon Beach.
Westchester Property Value
The median sales price for Westchester homes was about 1,700,000—a 21% increase since last year. Listings will last about a month on the market, up from 27 days a year ago.
Westchester property is becoming more competitive as the tech influence of Silicon Beach permeates the neighborhood. Getting in early on this neighborhood could net investors a significant return on their portfolios.
Westchester Housing Units
Westchester has 17,259 housing units. Fifteen thousand four hundred sixty-nine are occupied, with more than half of them occupied by the homeowner—48% are rented out.
Westchester is one of Silicon Beach’s most high-potential markets. There are plenty of opportunities to grab high-quality real estate here before it explodes in value as the tech boom in Silicon Beach continues.
Santa Monica is ground zero for the Silicon Beach phenomenon; as a result, it’s emerged as one of the most competitive neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles.
With plenty of beachfront real estate, loads of retail and restaurant options, and an ever-increasing number of tech giants fighting for space, Santa Monica real estate is some of the hottest in the country.
The average price of a Santa Monica home is almost $2,000,000—some of the priciest in Silicon Beach.
Property values in the neighborhood have gone up 8.3% since last year. As the epicenter of the Silicon Beach phenomenon, Santa Monica can be expected to increase in property value as more tech companies pour into L.A.
Housing In Santa Monica
One of the largest Silicon Beach neighborhoods, Santa Monica, has 51,445 housing units. About a quarter of these properties are owned by residents, whereas most units are rented—72%.
Santa Monica has a rich rental market. Investors looking for hot commodity rental properties should look to this Silicon Beach stronghold. Consult Christina so you can get into these lucrative Los Angeles markets.
Venice has a rich history as a bohemian hotspot for artists, rock stars, and surfers. The newest chapter in this storied L.A. neighborhood is the influx of hip tech companies finding a home.
Venice is on the smaller side, which makes the real estate here all the more competitive.
It follows Santa Monica’s southern border. Its eastern boundaries include Walgrove Avenue, Beethoven Street, and Del Ray Ave. To its south: the Silicon Beach hotspots of Playa Vista and Playa Del Mar.
Venice Property Value
At the moment, there are 165 homes for sale in Venice. The median listing price is heading upwards from $2,500,000, with the median days on the market decreasing from 46 days.
Venice has a strong allure due to its rich cultural history. Now that more tech capital is flooding the neighborhood, the property value here can be expected to increase over the coming years.
Housing Units in Venice
Venice has about 17,500 units of housing within its relatively small borders—speaking of how sought-after this area is.
The occupied units in Venice are predominantly rented, about 65%, making the rental market in Venice amongst the strongest in Silicon Beach. With many artists, tech up-and-comers, and folks looking to enjoy the Venice scene moving to the area, Venice real estate presents a prime opportunity for rental properties.
The Future of Silicon Beach
With more tech companies setting up shop in Silicon Beach, these neighborhoods are becoming some of the most bankable real estate investments in the entire country.
Even neighboring areas like Marina Del Mar and Hermosa Beach benefit from the sizable influx of tech companies flooding Silicon Beach.
Tech is one of the most formidable pillars of the modern economy. The real estate orbiting growing tech markets like Silicon Beach are some of the safest investments enterprising real estate investors can make.
The Westside region of Los Angeles is undergoing an unprecedented transformation—we should know.
Get into Silicon Beach real estate today and watch your portfolio grow tomorrow.
Google to open Los Angeles campus | L.A. Times
Playa Vista Demographics | Point2Homes
Westchester Demographics | Point2Homes
Santa Monica Home Values | Zillow
Venice, CA Real Estate & Homes For Sale | Realtor.com