Towns with surf > towns with no surf!
Gentrification and surfing
As an avid surfer, I have learned one thing. Places where you can surf are often nicer than the ones where you can’t. I am most certainly biased, but my wife - not a surfer - agrees.
Why are places that have good waves nicer than those that don’t?
I’m thinking about places such as Byron Bay in Australia, Nazare in Portugal, or Canggu in Bali. Why are they nice, and have higher real estate prices than towns in northern Queensland or the north of Bali?
Compare Byron Bay to Mackay, Nazare to some towns on Portugals’ south coast, and Canggu to places in Balis` north.
A more general theme of this can be seen in many other cities. A shanty part of town is turned into a nice place. How? Creatives, hippies, and artists move in and with some time and love develop a culture, and turn the neighborhood into a cool place. This in turn then gets more normal people to go there and ultimately move there.
There is a scientific-sounding name for it. Gentrification.
Surfers as Gentrifiers?
Surfers might be a bit like those hippies. They go somewhere where there are good waves and camp out on the beach just to surf. When word spreads that there are good waves, more people arrive, creating more demand for accommodation, restaurants, etc. As the town gets nicer, more people arrive and the circle continues until prices skyrocket.
The fact that a recreational activity such as surfing is close by might alone increase the standard of living. This is probably not unique to surfing. Just have a look at towns where you can ski, mountain bike, and snowboard.
All in all, whenever we go to a place that has good waves, we like the place a lot more. This has spread from San Diego to Nicoya, Taiwan, Bali, France, Mexico, Bali, and of course Australia.
I wish there was a REIT for this.
Written from Point Plomer, Australia, where any old mate will tell you how empty this place was 40 years ago!