What Made California’s Hottest-Selling Neighborhoods So Great in 2015

The end of the year is almost upon us, and it’s time to begin thinking about where your investments should lie in 2016. You know where the market is hot, but what actually increases the Fahrenheit in one neighborhood over another? Throughout 2015, the real estate market steadily boomed. Housing prices went up, and homebuyers looked to outlying areas to find the perfect compromise between desirability and affordability. Paying close attention to this trend can help smart investors to determine the location of their next 2016 property purchases.

The Hottest Neighborhoods for 2015

What should you look for? You want the best of all worlds. You want to build a dream home, you want it to be affordable, and you want it to be near daily essentials. But where can you find it? This is the question that the Redfin Research Center asked themselves when they predicted the hottest-selling neighborhoods in 2015, making your job a little easier. The research center (which is the research counterpart to the real estate broker and technology company Redfin) predicted these neighborhoods as the hottest in California this year:

  • Fox Hills (Culver City) in Los Angeles County
  • Mesa Verde (Costa Mesa) in Orange County
  • Tuscany Hills (Lake Elsinore) in Riverside County
  • Curtis Park in Sacramento County
  • El Cerrito in San Diego County
  • Crocker (Daly City) in San Francisco County
  • Silver Creek in San Jose County
  • Channel Islands (Oxnard) in Ventura County

Affordability Remains Important

One of the primary factors in the 2015 hot neighborhood predictions was affordability, and as an investor, you understand this importance. It makes no sense to invest in a property that won’t turn a profit, just as homebuyers don’t want to purchase a home that will put them upside down in a mortgage. Homebuyers want to eat their cake, too. They want nice neighborhoods that remain within their budgets.

According to Redfin Research Center’s predicted hot California neighborhoods for 2015, those that rank high in affordability include Fox Hills, Tuscany Hills, Curtis Park, and El Cerrito. In all but one neighborhood, prices have gone up in the investor’s favor. Even in the neighborhood where prices have gone down—El Cerrito— investors without a ton of cash have great opportunities. Below you can see the difference between pricing at the beginning of the year and actual pricing at publication date:

Neighborhood      Predicted Median Price Average Median Price
Oct. 2015
Fox Hills $400,000 $436,000
Tuscany Hills $350,000 $360,000
Curtis Park $381,000 $388,000
El Cerrito $320,000 $315,000


Commercial Development

Alongside affordability, the Redfin Research Center found that homebuyers wanted convenience. They wanted everything nearby, including work, grocery stores, entertainment, restaurants, and healthcare. As an investor, you know that investment property near modern conveniences will turn much quicker than property out in the middle of nowhere. When it comes to commercial development, Mesa Verde, El Cerrito, and Fox Hills all offer enticing prospects. In Mesa Verde, trendy high-end retail is the name of the game, and charming dining and shopping centers in El Cerrito offer great opportunities to commercial investors. Fox Hills is close to “Silicon Beach” tech start-ups that have made their way inland to Culver City and offers plenty of convenient shopping and commercial opportunities.


Parents search far and wide to find good schools, and this factors into many homebuyers’ decisions. You’ve seen the continual trend—people buy into a neighborhood because of the school and then sell once the kids have gone to college. Neighborhoods that have good schools nearby experience a cyclical market. Education is one reason that Fox Hills, Tuscany Hills, Curtis Park, and El Cerrito were predicted hottest-selling neighborhoods for 2015, for their easy access to college campuses.


California is known for its freeways, and as a real estate investor, you should remember it. Homebuyers don’t want to spend half their day on the road, and easy freeway access cuts commuting times. But as we discussed in this post, you don’t want to build on top of freeways either. That’s the beauty of our neighborhoods here: they’re close, but not too close.

Fox Hills gives residents easy access to I-405 and SR-90. Mesa Verde is close to I-405, SR-55, and SR-73. Curtis Park places you between U.S. Route 50 and SR-99. I-80 and I-580 are easily within reach of El Cerrito residents. Crocker homeowners have access to I-280, and Silver Creek and Channel Islands residents enjoy California’s famous U.S. Route 101 and Pacific Coast Highway, respectively.

To turn a real estate investment from  mediocre to profitable, you have to know what homebuyers want. Where do the buyers want to live and more importantly, why? Once you’ve determined that, you can finance your investment through Socotra Capital. We offer private funding for real estate investors looking to cash in on the exciting California market, and we have the perfect loan for your needs. Contact us today.

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