4 Most Up-and-Coming Cities in Orange County
Located within the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange County comprises a number of cities and suburban areas sitting just south of the city of Los Angeles along the California coast. It is the third most populated county in the state of California, with a population of over 3,186,000 as of 2020. Even though the area is largely suburban, Orange County is also the second most densely populated county in the state, just behind San Francisco County. While frequently overshadowed by the nearby metropolis that is Los Angeles, Orange County is home to a total of 34 cities, including a number of dense, thriving areas such as Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Irvine. Although some areas in Orange County are significantly urbanized and dense, single family homes make up the vast majority of property options in the county.
Economically, Orange County is well known for its tourism, with a number of large tourist centers and attractions, such as Disneyland, Yost Theater, Balboa Island, Angel Stadium, Modjeska House, and Downtown Santa Ana; combined with multiple popular beaches located along over 40 miles of coastline, Orange County has no shortage of tourists. Other major sources of income for the county include the hospitality and corporate industries, as well as a number of established universities such as the University of California, Irvine. A handful of Fortune 500 companies (and Fortune 1000 companies) have their headquarters in Orange County, including Ingram Micro, Broadcom, Western Digital, Pacific Life, and First American Corporation. Irvine is home to numerous startups and famous tech companies such as VIZIO, Linksys, and Panasonic Avionics Corporation. Shopping and retail is a large industry in Orange County, with activity centering around multiple regional shopping malls. The fashion industry remains fundamental to these areas, and quite a few fashion company headquarters reside in nearby areas, such as Wet Seal, Hurley International, PacSun, and St. John.
Along with the rest of California, Orange County has seen record-breaking appreciation in 2021. This means that prices of homes in Orange County will continue to rise this year. As of March 2022, the median home price in Orange County sits just around $1M, an almost 23% increase from the previous year. Steadily increasing demand, lack of supply, and low federal interest rates contribute to skyrocketing home prices. Although prices are at an all-time high and Orange County is one of the more expensive regions in the United States, there are many cities and neighborhoods that remain strong real estate investments. Investors are encouraged to focus on long-term strategies as Orange County is expected to continue to increase in value over the coming years. As a direct outskirt of bustling Los Angeles, many residents will continue to relocate to Orange County for the relatively low prices, especially with remote work opportunities on the rise. These are the top 4 affordable cities and areas in Orange County that are expected to see the most growth in the coming years:
1. Seal Beach
The strong infrastructure and coastal location of Seal Beach makes it ripe for appreciation. Although the city doesn’t currently see much local activity relative to the surrounding areas, it remains a prime spot for tourism, vacationing, and a quiet beachside lifestyle. Although high-end coastline properties can go into the millions, the median list price in Seal Beach is only $250,000.
2. Santa Ana
Santa Ana has been a quickly growing city for a few years now. What once was considered a rough area has rapidly developed to become a bustling artistic and colorful town. This city is a prime example of the growth and expansion that can be expected in many similar Orange County areas. The median home price in Santa Ana is now $570,000, with a number of popular neighborhoods perfect for young professionals, students, and families alike.
This smaller city near Anaheim has seen significant value increases in recent years, and growth is sure to continue in the near future. This is the perfect area to invest in a more affordable home that will likely see increasing appreciation. The median home price in Stanton now sits at $400,000.
Home to California State Fullerton, this university town holds lots of promise for investors. The median list price for homes in Fullerton is just over $764,000, however a number of student housing opportunities, such as affordable condos and apartment complexes can be found.
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