The greater Los Angeles area is simply stunning in terms of its sheer size and scope. The city and the surrounding communities seem to go on forever, taking up mile after mile of the Southern California landscape. Even lifelong residents of Los Angeles will likely never become totally familiar with all of the areas in and around the city – there is just too much for one person to see. As the second most populated city in the United States, Los Angeles is home to almost 4 million people within its city limits. Include the surrounding metro area, and that number explodes up to an unbelievable 13,000,000+ residents. Based on size alone, Los Angeles can be one of the most difficult real estate markets in the world to fully understand and navigate.
True to its reputation as an international city, Los Angeles is a major player in just about all different types of commerce activity. While it is true that some professionals and industries are more popular in the City of Angels, such as motion pictures and music, there is business taking place in every possible sector within Los Angeles. Some of the other major functions in L.A. include a lively financial district, aerospace, petroleum, fashion, tourism, and much more. People that live in Los Angeles engage in all different types of career paths, which is one reason that the area is so densely populated.
To a newcomer, it might seem that there are a million different neighborhoods within the greater L.A. area. While that is not quite true, there are in fact a great number of neighborhoods that each have their own demographic and housing prices. Believe it or not, there are some more affordable areas of L.A., to go along with the famously expensive neighborhoods that are home to the rich and famous. Some of the highest-end neighborhoods include Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, and Venice. The average real estate listing within all of those communities starts at $2 million and heads up to $5 million and beyond.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some more reasonably priced areas that give buyers with a smaller budget a chance to own property in L.A. Vernon/Main, Central Alameda, Florence-Graham, WIllowbrook, and Watts all have average real estate listing prices of under $300,000. There is a good deal of competition in these more affordable communities, so buying successfully in these areas will mean acting quickly when the opportunity presents itself.
On a whole, Los Angeles is a slightly older than average city, with the median age of its residents coming in at 34.1 years. Adult females in L.A. outnumber adult males by about 3%. The city is famous for its diversity, with just about every part of the world being represented in one way or another. Whites, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics or Latinos make up the bulk of the population in the Los Angeles area.
Because of the high demand to live in the area, and the ample employment opportunities at some of the biggest corporations in the world, housing prices are extremely high in Los Angeles. With great weather all throughout the year and recreation around every corner, it doesn’t take long to see what is so appealing about L.A. The average listing price for a home in Los Angeles is an incredible $1.2 million, although that number is pulled up by some lavish properties in the $10 million and up range. The median sales price sits at $440,000, still one of the most expensive in all of the country.
Thanks to the sprawling nature of the city, most owners in L.A. live in single family homes. In fact, single family homes make up over 60% of the properties that are lived in by their owners. Condos are also a significant portion of the market, making up about 20% of the properties. Renting is far more common in L.A. than in other locations around the country, with 61% of residents currently renting their properties.
As is the case with many real estate markets in the country, Los Angeles real estate is picking up quickly in 2013. The median sales prices of a single family home has gone up 37% in the year-over-year comparison, while the total number of sales has slowed slightly. That lack of inventory along with an improving economy is a recipe for higher prices, so Los Angeles is likely in for a continued rise in the prices of single family homes.
Those hoping to purchase a home in Los Angeles would be wise to consider all of the different neighborhoods within their price range and to act fast once a property is located. Until the inventory of houses for sale comes back up, transactions will likely be completed quickly and properties will not stay on the market for very long. Los Angeles can be one of the greatest cities in the world in which to live, but residents will surely pay the price when it comes time to purchase a home.
Bell Real Estate - Broker
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