Mandalay Beach

October 14th I visited Mandalay Beach in Oxnard to watch the sun set with a friend. After watching the sun disappear, I began observing the wide sandy coastline backed up against numerous luxurious beach homes and it got me thinking. Southern California’s beach culture is so desirable to those who live here, and those who don’t. Almost anyone you ask would tell you they’d love to live next to the beach, however, we all can’t. I decided to write this post through an economical lens.  Within typing “Mandalay Beach homes for sale” on Google, I immediately see homes ranging from 700 square foot homes selling for $625,000+, to 1700 square feet for $760,000+. Now I understand how nice it would be to have the beautiful coastline as your backyard, but these homes are in such high demand that the costs are skyrocketing nearly every day. But one question I have is why are people paying so much for a home that is so close to destruction? With receding shorelines and risk of environmental hazard, on top of the constant recreation and lack of parking, these homes seem far from desirable to me. However, beach side homes provide revenue to the city just like any other home. It is important to look at every aspect of the things we take for advantage every day. Another thing I have discovered upon researching the homes on this particular coast, is that is extremely common for large companies to buy multiple homes along the shoreline and rent them out either for month or two long vacation of tourists, or for your typical college frat style beach party. Either way, these companies are making money off of California’s desirable beach culture.

One thing that I also began thinking about is WHY these beach homes are so expensive. If you were to take two exact replicas of the same house and place on inland and one on the shore, the shore home would likely be double the cost of the inland home. Why? It can be most easily explained through simple supply and demand. Supply and demand determine these homes value, if there is little demand and great supply, the price for an item will be low. If there is high demand and little supply, the price for an item will be high. These Waterfront beach homes are more desirable to many people (due to aesthetic, cultural etc. aspects), meaning there is an increased demand for them. Although there are lots of sources of water on the planet, as well as lots located in the United States, there is not as much land on waterfronts in which we can construct homes as one can expect. Another aspect that can be addressed is why does living on the beach appeal to so many people? There’s the view, the tranquility and the privacy. But there’s also an entire lifestyle and culture that comes along hand in hand with living on the water. If you’re a boater, a swimmer, a sunbather, a surfer or a paddle boarder, living on the water gives you access to your favorite activities anytime the weather permits and its right in your backyard.

10 thoughts on “Mandalay Beach

  1. Swede says:

    I think choosing an economical lens is an interesting way to approach the beach. Not too far from Mandalay Beach in Port Hueneme there has been an interesting issue with a waste water treatment plant. Originally, when the waste water treatment plant was built near Ormond Beach, there were no houses too close by. Now there are houses close by, which end up selling for a relatively low cost for a beach home, resulting in people buying these homes. The issue arises from the smell of the waste water treatment plant, which these homes now deal with and complain about.

  2. Sanchez-ramirez says:

    Great post, I agree with your argument about the unevenness of the distribution of our housing opportunities. Coastal properties in California, much like in almost anywhere else in the world, are the most sought after. I find it even more distrusting when you come to the realization that many of these coastal properties are actually second homes or income properties for the wealthy. Coastal properties are a means to economic gain and are thus highly sought after. As long as there are properties to develop and money to be made, our coast will continue to be developed, and at time privatized.

    • Wortman says:

      You are right, as long as these properties exist the desire will continue to exist. It is interesting to see how many of these houses are owned by higher class citizens.

  3. Patino says:

    As we learned in the class more that 90% of the US population lives in a coastal county. This also means that people like the coast and actually want to get closer. But there is only so much room on the coast to put houses. That is why the demand is so high. In all other markets when there is a threat to the supply usually the demand goes down, the phenomenon we are seeing at the coast is even though there is potential harm, due to sea level rise and stronger tides, it has almost no effect on it… Yet still beach front homeowners are still feeling the “heat”; example is “broad beach”. And in order to protect their coast they are willing to still dumb more millions into fighting the ocean back. I don’t know how long their effort will last. Still I would rather be buying coastal property in California than in some Florida cities.

    • Wortman says:

      It is interesting to think about how densely populated our coasts are. How are we as a society going to manage these homes with the issue of sea level rise? Only time can tell.

  4. Cornelson says:

    Like you mentioned, our coast is in very high demand. Its intrinsic beauty and laid-back lifestyle attracts many different types of people from all over the world. The southern west coast I believe is especially beautiful due to its sandy beaches and infinite amount of sunshine. Two thirds of the US’s population lives in coastal regions, so it makes sense that the pricing in housing reflects that. I know that since I have grown up on the coast I definitely do not have any intentions leaving it.

    • Wortman says:

      I find it interesting that you stated that you don’t plan on leaving the coast since you grew up here. I wonder how many other people have that same mentality. I also wonder how many people who did not grow up on the coast feel that it is their right for a “turn” to live this lifestyle.

  5. Dominguez says:


    I agree they are not only ridiculously expensive but the danger that comes along with having a home by the beach and then the money required to protect it is out of the question. In addition, it is a hazard to the ecosystem. By the way is this beach connected to Hollywood Beach in Oxnard?

  6. Marovitz says:

    The desire for beachfront property is understandable, but creates tension between homeowners and beachgoers. Those that are able to afford the property and maintenance believe that they deserve privatization, despite beach access laws. Southern California culture is monetizing beach culture and exclusivity, adding to the strife of beach access. Ultimately, the desire for having beachfront homes and businesses is worth the property maintenance and potential damage due to erosion and sea level rise for many, and it will be a constant battle for those that choose it.

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