Is Inglewood the Next Target of Gentrification?

The median price of a home on the Westside has surpassed $1 million, at least according to one metric, forcing high-end bargain hunters who want to stay closer to the sea to push into minority neighborhoods.

Venice, Del Rey and Santa Monica's traditionally Latino Pico neighborhood have long been invaded by the moneyed masses, leaving the obvious question:

Is Inglewood next?

With a nearly $2 billion NFL stadium, which will include a mixed-use shopping and entertainment development, scheduled to open in 2018 or after, it could be a safe bet.

We reported more than 10 years ago that gentrifiers were pushing locals from Venice and Del Rey to Inglewood. Now the same class of people could be chasing them there.

The push might have been put into motion long before the NFL's team owners on Jan. 12 backed the plan to build a stadium in Inglewood for the relocating Rams. Inglewood, a traditionally African-American city, is the last frontier of Westside affordability: If you go any farther south you're in the South Bay; if you go any farther east you're in South L.A.

If homeowners are banking on rising real estate prices because of the stadium, they might be buying in Inglewood for the wrong reason, however.

A new study by real estate listings site Trulia found that while homeowners lucky enough to be around older stadiums generally enjoy greater home values than folks in neighboring communities, newer stadiums haven't boosted neighbors' selling prices.

"New stadiums built in the last decade, by and large, have failed to lift the fortunes of surrounding homeowners," a spokeswoman for the site said.

Trulia looked at 10-year real estate values within a 2-mile radius around NFL stadiums. While neighborhoods around the newest stadiums weren't necessarily producing real estate gold, two-thirds of the homes in all stadium areas had higher values than those in non-stadium communities, on average, the site said.

In St. Louis, for example, homes within two miles of the Rams' last home field were worth nearly 17 percent more than the city's average house, Trulia said. 

Bargain hunters who think Inglewood presents a buy-low, sell-high opportunity could be proven right in the long run. But that applies to all L.A. real estate, historically speaking. Inglewood's home values are about 9 percent lower than others in Greater Los Angeles, according to Trulia's analysis. 

While none of the nation's newest stadiums, those built in the last 10 years, "has had a noticeable impact in raising home values in its immediate vicinity," the long-term outlook is better. Buy-and-hold real estate hunters could find wise values in the 'Wood.

The median home price in Inglewood is $389,100, according to real estate site Zillow. It pegs the Greater Los Angeles median at $562,800. The site projected that Inglewood home values would increase by 1 percent in the next year.

A spokesman for real estate website Redfin says "homes are selling much faster in Inglewood" than in Greater Los Angeles in recent months. "More homes in Inglewood are selling for above the list price when compared to L.A.," he said.

Sounds like Inglewood is in play.


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