The Long Beach community of Belmont Shore, where the median home price was $844,000 in February, remains a cheaper alternative to oceanfront communities such as Manhattan Beach, where the median price for the same month was $1,575,000.
"People who aren't familiar with the area and come from Manhattan Beach or Orange County feel there's a bargain here because they see prices that are 50% lower and they are still beachside," said First Team Real Estate Agent Don Kallenberg. "It's hard to find a community like this where you can park the car on Friday and walk around all weekend."
That's not to say that there are a lot of bargains in this enclave, which has attracted major retailers including the Gap, Banana Republic, the Body Shop and a wide variety of restaurants to its major thoroughfare, 2nd Street. Belmont Shore is expensive compared with other areas on the water in Long Beach and inland options such as nearby Lakewood and Cypress.
Belmont Shore was once an ocean wetland and part of Rancho Los Alamitos, which included what is now southeast Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and Cypress. By the early 1900s, ownership of the rancho was transferred to the prominent Bixby family.
When Belmont Shore lots went on sale for $2,000 each in the early 1920s, developer McGrath & Selover was inundated with buyers, even though the area was soggy marshland.
On the market
Home prices today range from $700,000 to $1.2 million and most homes on the market receive multiple offers, said Century 21 Beachside real estate agent Erik Bueno.
Those on Bayshore Avenue can carry price tags of more than $2 million.
Residences currently on the market include a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $785,000, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for $875,000 and a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house for $1.249 million.