The support for prices comes from the demand for the property/location. In this market the bargains are going to come in locations that are not as desireable. Ocean side property in an area that is not subject to hurricanes and humidity, and are located near areas that have larger job opportunities are going to have less downward pressure on prices. The Los Angeles coastal areas will maintain their value due to the number of people that have interest there. Generally when people are looking for Ocean Views and coastal weather they are in a position to pay the premium prices that are asked. As said many times in response to your question it has to do with the location.
A winning strategy is to determine what it is you are looking for in a location. If you want to be beside the ocean and are not tied to a specific area, then you can look for alternative ocean side areas. If you are tied to a general location due to work or family then using an experienced Real Estate Agent can help you find a distressed property, lease option opportunities or a property in a location that is going to have better value in the future as the economy begins it's recovery.
If you are not tied to the greater Los Angeles area, you may find that ocean view properties can be purchased in California north of Santa Barbara or significantly less than in the metropolitan areas.
The more important question is this: Why would you be watching a home for a long time hoping it's price would drop along with the rest of the market? The more important issue that's been overlooked here is that you are hoping to buy a piece of real estate that ebbs and flows with the market. Is this the way you buy stocks too? Bad strategy.
You've identified what must be a great area that holds values regardless of the fact we are staring right into the largest real estate crash ever witnessed in our history. Buy it!
Certified Buyer Representative
Century 21 Princeton Properties