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Regional Spotlight: Southern California SOCAL MARKET CHEMISTRY CREATES UNIQUE MARKETS, OPPORTUNITY.
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by Carole VanSickle Ellis
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outhern California, often referred to as SoCal, is defined in many ways. You can use the term to refer to California’s 10 southernmost counties. You could use it to refer to the geograph- ic area surrounding three of the coun- try’s largest metropolitan areas and those areas themselves. You could use it to refer to one of just 11 “megaregions” de- fined by New York-based planning group the Regional Plan Association and used to designate not just the southern part of California, but also Tijuana, Mexico, and the Las Vegas Valley. Or, you could use the term synon- ymously with “extremely hot housing market,” since the area is home to some S
of the highest median home prices in the country and the heat, so to speak, appears to still be on. Although real estate analysts have been batting the term “overvalued” around in reference to SoCal’s most notoriously expensive markets, including the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino areas, local investors report highly specialized, niche lead generation strategies still yield highly profitable deals. “Investors just need to take a step back and look at the foundation of their deals,” said Lori Greymont, a California Bay area real estate developer, fund man- ager, and CEO of the San Jose Real Estate Investors Association (SJREI). “Sure, our
material costs are just a little bit more than other areas; our labor is a little more expensive than other areas, and our land costs are a lot more, but what that equates to is higher profit potential.” She continued, “In the Southeast, for example, you can maybe build for $85 to $125 a square foot. In the Bay Area, you can build for $175 to $300 a square foot and then sell for $500 to $1,000 a square foot! If I have the same hour to invest in either place, why would I spend my time on a lower-profit venture?” Greymont’s zealous approach to the local market is not a tactic every inves- tor wants to embrace, however. Lance Wakefield, owner and managing partner
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52 | think realty magazine :: june 2018
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