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There was an interesting article in today’s San Jose Mercury News talking about the latest census data and California’s demographics. White middle-class residents are leaving the state. The Hispanic population is still growing but at a much lower slower rate than Texas. The reason: the high cost of living and better job prospects elsewhere. The housing bust could reverse the trend.
The article goes on to note another trend that of Baby Boomers selling their California homes when they retire, taking their fat profits and moving elsewhere, choosing to live their Golden Years some place other than the Golden State.
My wife and I took a little trip down the California coast last weekend. We visited a bunch of towns just north of San Diego and as usual, checked out the local home prices. While housing prices in inland communities are getting hammered, there were no bargains to be found at the beach. If you want to live some place nice with a view of the ocean such as Del Mar or Encinitas you’re going to pay a couple of million for it.
Middle class retirees may sell their McMansion and move some place cheaper but lots of well to do Boomers will stay pay up for property on the ocean. You may have heard of the retiree who was killed by a Great White Shark last week swimming off of Solana Beach. I still saw surfers and kayakers in the water despite the shark warnings. There’s something about the lure of the ocean.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.