Living in Santa Monica – Explore Southern California’s Favorite Beach Town

Hilton & Hyland luxury real estate agent Bjorn Farrugia shares information on the housing … [+] Market and what it’s like to live in Santa Monica.

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While the beach resorts that adorn the Los Angeles County’s coastline have a lot in common, including sunny weather, coveted properties, and dreamy, laid-back glamor, they’re not all created equal – each has quirks that define both reputation and reality.

There is Venice with its unconventional charm, Malibu with its dramatic beauty or Manhattan Beach with its luxurious suburban comfort.

Then there is Santa Monica.

A row of multimillion dollar homes on 12th Street in Santa Monica.

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With bags ranging from homely to lively to artsy to sporty, spread out across the 16 square miles that comprise this beach town, Santa Monica can seem too diverse to give a single definition.

“It’s a little quieter than Venice, for example, which is more urban with smaller streets and smaller lots,” said Bjorn Farrugia, luxury real estate specialist at Hilton & Hyland. “But it’s faster than Santa Barbara, and there’s a lot more atmosphere – it’s somewhere in that balance.”

A long-time favorite choice for homesteads and vacations, the past few years have only seen Santa Monica’s popularity continue to grow.

Although the lots are smaller, Santa Monica residents want to maximize their outdoor living space. … [+] This refreshed luxury home at 332 12th St. has a large entrance courtyard and a heated terrace with dining area.

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“In 2020 around 70 houses were sold. In 2021 it was about 130. I don’t know how to explain whether it’s Covid or something else, but Santa Monica is booming; it is trendy. “

Santa Monica life

Santa Monica living comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles – from luxury condos to craft houses to beachfront mansions.

Common features of a Santa Monica home are second-floor terraces, curated and manicured outdoor spaces with fountains and greenery, and large windows and French doors that let in sun and sea breezes.

To address the housing shortage, the city and country building codes have recently been changed to allow multi-family houses to be built on single-family plots, so many of the apartments currently on the market are being renovated or completely rebuilt.

Farrugia sold a newly built home for Orange County-based construction company Revere Real Estate in November … [+] $ 3.94 million – about $ 140,000 above the offering price. In December 2021, the average retail price in Santa Monica was $ 1.91 million, according to

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These properties often have modern conveniences like smart house features, state of the art appliances, and open floor plans.

The Santa Monica market

Not only are Santa Monica property prices among the most expensive in California, but Santa Monica property is consistently among the most expensive in America.

In December 2021, the average retail price in Santa Monica was $ 1.91 million, according to

With updates to building regulations that allow for more development opportunities, the value of individual plots has increased. Still, even before these changes, the average Santa Monica retail price was steadily increasing, up 30% since that time five years ago.

Housing options in Santa Monica range from new to old. This luxurious townhouse is across from the beach … [+] Ocean Ave. represents the reinterpretation of a landmark designed by Robert D. Farquhar.

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“The values ​​have increased quite a bit in the last ten years. In 2017, I had a sale for $ 11 million, which is the highest sale north of Montana Avenue between ages 7 and 26, ”says Farrugia.

As with any beach resort, location plays an important role in determining property prices. Homes near the beach are some of the highest price points, as are the posh hillside homes in neighborhoods like North of Montana.

The atmosphere of Santa Monica

“The area is relaxed and carefree – the great weather and the beach are part of it,” said Farrugia. “But it also has a big city feel. You can walk – have a coffee, stop at a restaurant like you were in SoHo. “

Public works across the city promote an active, healthy lifestyle with plenty of parks with recreational areas like beach volleyball courts, miles of bike paths, and tennis courts.

Santa Monica’s vibe is unlike anything you’ll find on the California coast, which is why … [+] The area attracts premium property prices.


The Santa Monica community also prides itself on environmental efforts that make the city one of the most sustainable in the country. With strategies such as city buses using alternative fuels and new environmentally friendly building codes, the city hopes to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050.

Schools in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is served by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which consists of fifteen public schools (ten elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools).

In 2019, US News and World Report named both Santa Monica High School and Malibu High School the best high schools in the country and state, ranking 914 in the state and 134 in the state, respectively rankings of 817 125.

Locals and tourists walk on the zebra crossing on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica.


In addition to these schools, SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House), an alternative school founded in 1973 that uses “non-authoritarian, non-competitive, non-sexist methods”, is part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

There are many private school options, with both ecclesiastical and non-sectarian schools, including Saint Monica Catholic High School, Crossroads School, and Carlthorp School.

Santa Monica Area

Although Santa Monica is often viewed as part of Los Angeles, it is a city in its own right. Downtown Los Angeles is around 25 km or a 45-minute drive away.

Directly to the north is the Pacific Palisades and a little further on is Malibu. Three miles south or a 20-minute bike ride down the coast is Venice Beach.

Hilton & Hyland is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and member network of elite realtors who sell the world’s most luxurious homes.

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