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Summer Real Estate: What You Need to Know about Los Feliz

As far as Los Feliz real estate goes, I made some bold claims earlier this year about what to expect in the real estate market. Was I right? Of course I was!

Despite what a bunch of other news sources in Los Angeles will tell you, Los Feliz real estate is strong. We are still seeing a lot of West Siders from the Beverly Hills area headed east and buying homes in Los Feliz. The more construction they do on the West Side, the more we’ll see those residents move this direction.

Trickle East Economics

The money flows from West to East. Foreign investors are pumping cash into Beverly Hills raising values. Long-term residents cash in, move East where their dollar goes further. They buy in strong markets like Los Feliz (because they’re smart like you), and the money continues to move eastward. Don’t believe me? Look at the trend: First Silver Lake, then Highland Park, now El Sereno, next Boyle Heights. I won’t even tell you where they’re going after Boyle Heights!

In Los Angeles, the money is headed East.

Great news for both Buyers & Sellers in Los Feliz

Inventory in Los Feliz is plentiful, and values are still on the rise. If any neighborhood knows how to walk that fine line of supply and demand, it’s Los Feliz. The market is strong and healthy, but not a crazy “Seller’s Market” like we saw the past few years.

While that kind of Seller's Market can be fun for sellers, it’s not sustainable for the long-term and can hurt prices if not kept in check..

It’s that time of year again when the majority of listings for the year come out for summer. So do the majority of Buyers, so there should be plenty of both to go around.

Over the last 15 years, Los Feliz has been a rock solid market. In fact, during the housing recession, the neighborhood merely saw a “plateau” in prices instead of the “dip” (or crash) other neighborhoods saw. Then in 2012, we saw the values resume their upward climb. In the last four years, we’ve seen a very steady 9% appreciation year over year. No reason we shouldn’t see that again this year.

This Los Feliz real estate market is very interesting because it regulates itself extremely well, like a self-cleaning oven.

We saw a large number of sales all at once in 2012-2013 when the market took off (a term we call “increased velocity”), but in the last two years we’ve seen this organic “discipline” to keep a healthy amount of inventory--just enough to keep demand high, but not so scarce that it created a shortage. That’s the “fine line”.

Let’s talk about a few of the more specific micro-markets…

Los Feliz Hills (N. of the Boulevard)

Despite what some experts might tell you, or what you read in the big newspaper publications, this market is hot. Over the past two and a half years, prices have increased slowly and steadily.

The size of homes selling is getting bigger, the finishes are grander, and the price tags are steeper. This lengthens the average days on market, but don’t worry about a thing because this is perfectly normal. Regardless of the longer days on market, 2015 was the first year that the “Sales Price to List Price” ratio was over 100%. Tell me that’s not a hot market!

Franklin Hills

The most uniform real estate market in Los Feliz in terms of sales prices, size, bed-bath count, etc., but as eclectic as it gets from every other perspective.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen average prices jump from $1 million to $1.2 million--most of which took place just in the last six months. Because of that, Sellers are jumping on the bandwagon and cashing in just like they were 18 months ago when average prices passed the million dollar mark.

Prices are up, but so are days on market. We saw a huge amount of inventory sell this first quarter in 2016, and still have quite a few left over to get picked up this summer. Values continue to rise here in Franklin Hills and all across Los Feliz, but again, this is not the “Seller’s Market” we saw the last few years all across Los Angeles.

Los Feliz Oaks

The Oaks just had a very busy summer and fall although we didn’t hear much about it. Now, prices and inventory are cooling off. This comes as good news for the neighborhood because we don’t want things getting carried away too fast.

Days on market for The Oaks are the highest for all of Los Feliz, but again, this should help them keep prices and appreciation under control. I am a big fan of responsible growth in real estate markets. Average sales price are around $1.8 million right now, but the median price is significantly lower at $1.6 million. My guess is, the median will push higher towards 1.8 this summer and even things out. If inventory drops with discouraged sellers, we could see prices jump even higher at the end of the year.

What You Need to Know This Summer

As a Seller, getting the sales price you want is still very possible, but you are going to need a real plan, good timing, and an intelligent pricing strategy. (Wait, pricing strategy? What does that even mean?) You are going to need an agent who knows the market, and more importantly, knows how to USE that market to get your price.

As a Buyer, this summer should bring all sorts of possibilities for your next home, but bring your checkbook. Even with days on market getting longer, prices will continue to increase, so most of these Sellers will be waiting for their number to come in.

In this market, “getting a deal” is not about getting a steal of a price; it’s about GETTING the home you really want.

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