Long Beach, California, is a city of almost 500,000 people at the southern end of the Los Angeles County coastline. Most Angelinos think of Long Beach as the home of the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Port of Long Beach and nothing more.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the city’s economic linchpins. Combined with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, the area is America’s largest shipping industry hub for container transport. Both ports create many high-paying jobs. They do present a problem for the tourist industry, however, as the view from downtown includes giant cranes and oil derricks.

Long Beach has been working on an ongoing downtown renewal plan for more than 30 years. All of the pieces are finally coming together with a downtown restaurant area connected to the business and hotel district, the convention center and seaside attractions. The steady flow of conventions and tourists is starting to pump money into the local economy.

Market Insights

Long Beach is no different from most large cities regarding the mix of properties and neighborhoods. As of May 2016, the average sales price had risen from a post-recession low of $355,000 to $516,000. The northern and western portions of the city contain most of the industrial property and commercial real estate, while the southwestern tip is high-end beach property. In between are a mix of neighborhoods that contain more working-class residents and more affordable properties.

Los Angeles-area properties, with relatively easy beach access, have reached astronomical pricing levels. A triple-wide mobile home with an ocean-view in Malibu sold for $5.3 million in May 2016. Some of the most affordable neighborhoods within a 10-minute drive to the beach are in Long Beach. Some of these areas are cultivating the artsy trendy vibe desired by millennials. It is in these areas that investors or homebuyers have the best opportunities for capital appreciation.

Property and Transfer Taxes

Property taxes in Long Beach are set at the state minimum of 1% plus 0.118451% for special assessments. The property tax on a newly sold home with a sales price of $500,000 is $5,592. California’s state constitution limits the increase of assessed value for property tax value to 2% per year. Commercial real estate and residential real estate are taxed at the same rate.

The property transfer tax consists of 55 cents per $1,000 of valuation levied by Los Angeles County and 0.55% per $1,000 levied by the city of Long Beach. Total transfer tax on a $500,000 sales is $550.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

Naples is a set of three islands in Alamitos Bay with a median listing price of $1.79 million. The islands are separated by canals that come complete with gondola ride services. Many waterfront homes have private boat slips and command prices of $3 million or more. Homes on the smallest island, closest to the ocean, rarely come up for sale.

Alamitos Peninsula is a mile-long strip of sand west of Naples, which separates the islands from the Pacific Ocean. Homes here have a median listing price of $1.73 million, with beachfront homes on the ocean selling for double that amount. The neighborhood is known for its small beach community atmosphere. Most local activities involve aquatic pursuits.

Belmont Shores is an oceanfront neighborhood immediately west of Naples and the Alamitos Peninsula. Homes have slightly lower listing prices, at an average of $1.1 million, as there are more small homes located off the beach. Many of these smaller homes sit on lots of less than 3,500 square feet. Its commercial district has approximately 250 small businesses, restaurants and shops. Belmont Shores offers the full beach living experience in a trendy neighborhood.

Bixby Hills sits a short distance north of the three beach communities. The neighborhood provides suburban-style living a short drive from the beach. The area was developed in the 1970s and is Long Beach’s only fully gated and guarded community. Homes here are on well-landscaped larger lots. The neighborhood surrounds the 7.5-acre Rancho Alamitos. The last remnants of the original homestead, Rancho Alamitos is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Top Real Estate Websites

ShowMeHome.com covers real estate in Long Beach and the surrounding areas. The site has concise descriptions of 45 different neighborhoods and demographic information for each neighborhood.

LongBeachHomesRealEstate.com has thorough descriptions of the 15 Long Beach neighborhoods it serves. The office works with both real estate investors and individuals. Located in Belmont Shores, the firm has a strong focus on beach area properties. The site has tagged interactive maps showing all the homes for sale in a neighborhood.

Los Angeles Real Estate Market

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