Hermosa Beach, a city in Los Angeles County, California, has a population of approximately 19,500 and is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area. It is one of three Beach Cities: Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the North and Redondo Beach to the South and East. Of the three Beach Cities, only Hermosa Beach owns its own beach. The other two cities’ beaches are owned by the county of Los Angeles. The wide flat beach makes Hermosa Beach one of the most popular places to play beach volleyball, from professional to amateur. The Strand, which stretches North into Manhattan Beach and South into Redondo Beach, is a popular place for walkers, joggers, biking and sightseeing.
The city itself is relatively small, extending only about 15 blocks from East to West and 40 blocks from North to South, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa’s average summer temperature ranges in the mid-70s. Consistent ocean breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in surrounding Los Angeles areas, and helps to keep the smog away 360 days of the year.
Hermosa Beach was originally part of the 1884 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the ten-mile Ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. In 1900 a tract of 1,500 acres was purchased for $35 per acre from A. E. Pomroy, then owner of the greater part of Rancho Sausal Redondo. It’s hard to believe that in the early days, Hermosa Beach — like so many of its neighboring cities (Inglewood, Lawndale, Torrance) — was once vastly sweeping rolling hills covered with fields of grain. During certain seasons of the year large herds of sheep were found grazing over this land, and corrals and large barns stored the grain, in addition to providing shelter for horses and farm equipment on the ranch between Hermosa and Inglewood.
Today’s Hermosa Beach Real Estate finds a very different picture than from the early days, with full size lots as small as only 2,400 square feet, built with up to 3 story homes covering nearly the entire lot. Neighbors are just a few feet away and the rolling hills are now covered with homes, apartments, condominiums and small businesses. Because Hermosa Beach was one of the first beach cities to start development, it remains one of the most eclectic. It is not uncommon to see an original beach bungalow sitting next to a 1950s duplex that is located next to a brand new custom home.
Although most of Hermosa Beach Real Estate has been developed through the years, there still remains plenty of undeveloped public land. Most notably is the 24 acres of vacated railway that cuts through the entire city from North to South. The railway once supported the only public transportation available from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach. Local residents fought developers in the 1980s who sought to build condominiums and retail along the corridor and today it remains a very popular & unique hiking and jogging trail. In addition, there are eight other parks found throughout this small city.
The school system in Hermosa Beach is divided uniquely into two groups, Kindergarten through 2nd grade with students attending Hermosa View School off of Prospect Avenue, and 3rd grade through middle school students all attend Hermosa Valley School located off of Valley near Pier Avenue. Hermosa Beach does not have its own High School. Residents have the choice of sending students to either Mira Costa High School or Redondo Union High School. Like most beach cities schools, the scores at both schools rank extremely high. (You can find more information on the school system online at www.hbcsd.org.)
The Board of Realtors divides Hermosa Beach into 3 distinct sections. The Sand Section, also known as area 148 on the Multiple Listing Service, is all property West of Valley, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. The Valley Section (Area 149) is located between Valley and Pacific Coast Highway. East Hermosa Beach (Area 150) is all of the properties located East of Pacific Coast Highway. As with most beach cities property, the closer you get to the ocean, the higher the price. This will vary dramatically, however, based on view, orientation, size of the home, and the year built. In addition, lot sizes will typically increase farther East as you move away from the beach.
Hermosa does have its own Hill Section, although not nearly the size of Manhattan Beach’s Hill Section. There are some properties that are very large, with a few parcels of land well over 10,000 square feet, capturing sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from Palos Verdes to the Santa Monica Bay and beyond. Homes of this stature can fetch into the millions of dollars, but they rarely hit the market.
Hermosa Beach Real Estate certainly ranks high both in median home prices as well as its ability to retain value as compared to many parts of the United States. Its proximity to Los Angeles makes it an easy commute to one of the busiest and most diverse business cities in the country. Combine that with one of the greatest weather patterns in the world, an award winning public school system and access to one of the best beaches on any coast, Hermosa draws both young and old as a place to call home.
Hermosa Beach is known to have the highest ratio of rentals to owner occupied properties in the three Beach Cities with 44.6% being owner occupied and 55.4% tenant occupied. It also has some of the most diverse cross section of homes, from turn-of-the-century beach cottages, to 10,000 square foot ocean front homes. Prices can vary from $300,000 for a small 1 bedroom condo to over $20 Million for a beach front estate.
As far as demographics go, the most interesting piece of recent trivia is that CNNMoney reported Hermosa Beach being ranked “the greatest city to live in to find rich single men”, as many male residents have a high median household income. The city is a constant buzz of activity from small coffee shops and stores which are all walking distance from most homes, to outdoor eating and bars that line the popular Pier Plaza. Collectively, it’s a very active lifestyle of outdoor living.