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.