Wednesday, 7 January 2009

California, here we come

Suspended in permanent sunshine, the golden state of California attracts millions of people each year, some trying to catch the fame train, others drawn by the climate and stunning scenery. Now, new figures released by the state’s Department of Finance show that the population is higher than ever…

The question isn’t who does want to go to California, but who doesn’t. California tourist attractions are numerous and diverse. Whether you enjoy cities, mountains, forests or oceans, the State of California offers more variety than any other state in the U.S.

A demographic survey conducted by the state’s Department of Finance showed that the population of the west coast state surpassed 38 million after growing by 1.16 per cent this year. That equates to 436,000 new residents all eager to sample a taste of the golden state.

These latest figures mean that since 2000, the population of California has increased by a whopping 4.3 million people at an overall growth rate of 12.6 per cent.

The majority of the growth (75 per cent) has been attributed to more people being born than are dying, with the remaining quarter being accounted for by immigration.

With the buzz of the City of Angels and the stars of Hollywood, the lush Napa Valley, sun kissed San Diego and Santa Barbara, the education on offer at Berkeley, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the beautiful wild beaches of Carmel and of course Disneyland in Anaheim, the world’s most famous theme park, California is a true feast for the senses.

Located on the western coast of the United States, California extends along the Pacific Ocean from the Mexican border in the south for nearly 900 miles to its northern border with the state of Oregon.

The state is approximately 200 miles wide from its western beaches to its eastern deserts bordering the states of Nevada and Arizona.

OK, I’ll admit it, I am biased. I spent one of the best years of my life at the University of California in Santa Barbara, an hour outside Los Angeles. The weather was warm, the beaches were beautiful and the living was easy. Returning to the UK was a struggle of epic proportions.

If you are considering investing in properties in California overseas and are keen to take a long term view of a property market, you could take advantage of the lower prices in the US at the moment and snap up a bargain property in California.

The rising population should ensure a strong rental return on a California property should you choose a buy to let purchase.

Due to the recent interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in the USA, which saw them drop to a guide target of between zero and 0.25 per cent, you could be in luck with mortgage financing too.

For more information on American properties and the market in general, please visit

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