×

Los Angeles Real Estate Heats Up With Mogul Money

Execs and celebs buying homes are remaking Southern California neighborhoods

Numbers don’t lie. Like box office grosses, home sales reflect economic reality. Per real estate news firm Data Quick, year-over-year residential real estate sales prices are up 18.4% across the Los Angeles area in early 2014 and the inventory of homes and condos for sale remains low. At the upscale end of the market, often in those Los Angeles neighborhoods favored by showbizzers, demand is the strongest, resulting in multiple offers over asking price for contempo properties and select empty lots.

“The market is better than it’s ever been,” says owner of Pardee Properties, Tami Pardee, a real estate agent who specializes on L.A.’s Westside. Home prices in Venice and the surrounding areas have been “incredibly impacted,” per Pardee, by Silicon Beach — the corridor from Venice to Playa Vista, where tech and digital media firms are headquartered.

The upward trend in the area’s home prices is referred to as the “Google effect” because employees of the firm (and related venture capitalists and tech start-ups like Snapchat) prefer to live within walking or biking distance of their workplaces. The area is its own real estate hot spot: Pardee recently sold three contiguous empty lots totaling 7,000 square feet (and off the market for 70 years) for $4.5 million. In December, Snapchat CEO Bobby Murphy bought a two-bedroom, ultra-contempo architectural beach pad in a small-lot subdivision for $2.1 million — double the median price of surrounding homes.

“We’re finding the real estate market is as hot as it was in 2006,” says Stacy Gottula of Coldwell Banker Previews Intl. “We’re back at that price point.”

Trousdale Estates, the so-called bird streets above Sunset Strip, the Pacific Palisades and the upper reaches of Bel-Air continue to attract those in the biz. “The view properties are a big deal” for industryites, Gottula says, “and gated private homes are always in demand.” She adds that it’s not uncommon to see properties with acreage and privacy selling in the $2,000 per square foot range, which is actually a value when compared to other cities such as London or Hong Kong, where prices often rise above $4,500 per square foot. Naturally, this makes Los Angeles popular among international buyers.

Gottula notes that talent, unlike in years past, tend to buy, sell and move more frequently. “They like change, keep up with trends, which today is a contemporary house that has light, glass and views,” says the agent.

Execs are also active. Financier Megan Ellison, producer of Oscar-nommed “American Hustle” and “Her,” sold three lots in the bird streets at a significant profit and has since purchased a $30 million mega-manse on top of Mt. Olympus that’s a probable teardown, per Ellison, who has not yet chosen an architect to remake the gated compound.

Although the Hollywood Hills and the Westside have appeal for creative types, the dense, walkable and traditional neighborhoods of Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Echo Park are also in demand. Multiple offers and over asking prices for select properties (an Eagle Rock mid-century fixer recently sold for $200,000 over asking) and all-cash deals are a matter of course in this burgeoning northeast section of town.

Revised land use plans along Lincoln Boulevard and developments along the under-construction Expo rail line promise increased density along the route and in Santa Monica. Close to the beach and adjacent to the city’s new Tongva Park, Ocean Avenue South is the first new luxury condominium and apartment development to come to market in decades. “We’re delivering 158 ultra-luxury condos in the civic core,” says Gino Canori, senior VP, Related California, developers of the project, which has been on the boards since 2006.

As the Ocean Avenue South units are released, the first 12 sold out. Pricing is top of market (from just under $1 million for lofts to mid-$7 million). The ocean views, all-new constructions and fully designed condos are in a desirable area where there’s job growth. This combination of factors ensures that “the demand is there,” says Canori.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content