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Silicon Beach is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating back maybe only as far as late 2011, which is the first significant mention I found by the LA Times.

There was definitely no Silicon Beach when I was a digital tech entrepreneur in the early 2000’s. I remember how isolated it felt to be a tech company in LA and trekking down to Orange County to talk money because that was where the bio-tech guys hung out.

Needless to say, we didn’t get much traction with that crowd. Silicon Valley seemed a long way away and not particularly relevant to real estate on the web.

Great weather, surfing, beach sports, lifestyle, “affordable” real estate and proximity to the entertainment industry are major drivers in LA’s – and specifically Silicon Beach’s – growth over Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. And it doesn’t hurt that we have our finger on the pulse of “hip” and “cool.”

While it’s true that Santa Monica has been attracting creative tech talent and its supporting players for a number of years (think “Yahoo Center” and “Water Garden”), it’s only been recently that the moniker “Silicon Beach” has really taken off and created a hub and sense of community for Digital LA.

With that focus on a small geo area of LA comes pressure on real estate values. LA is still cheaper than San Francisco and most of Silicon Valley, but we’re trending in the uber expensive direction. Santa Monica led the way, followed by Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista and Westchester. El Segundo is ramping up and bringing lots of less expensive creative space online. Housing pressures in that area will surely follow, as well.

Any way you look at it, Silicon Beach and its adjacent communities are a pricey proposition by LA standards, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope of finding yourself a piece of sand to call home.  Read more

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