Real estate has been on fire in Los Angeles. “Economic recovery” doesn't begin to explain the ridic levels of interest in home-buying, from bidding wars to all-cash offers.
It's a jungle out there. But you'd be surprised to learn that some of the areas with the highest price increases don't have a 90210 zip code. No, in fact our top 5 hottest real estate neighborhoods are all inner-city communities. Hipsters beware:
The kind folks at online real estate marketplace Redfin crunched the numbers for us and found that these areas dominated when it came to June, 2012 to June, 2013, per-square-foot price increases:
5. Mid-Wilshire. Yeah, we told you last year Koreatown was “America's Hippest Neighborhood,” but we didn't realize that its long-affordable real estate would catch fire so soon. June-over-June increase: Nearly 62 percent. Median square foot price? $551.
4. Central City. We're talking here about South Los Angeles, specifically the neighborhood south of downtown represented by the LAPD's Newton Division. Surprised? Us too. The June, 2012 to June, 2013 increase is nearly 63 percent, says Redfin. The median price of a square foot: $205. That's a deal. And it's near USC.
3. Downtown. Another gentrifying, hipsterizing 'hood makes the list. DTLA got swamped with condos that had to be converted to rentals during the Great Recession. Looks like they're making a comeback as ownables. Redfin says the June-vs.-June increase is nearly 66 percent, with the median square-foot price at $280. Still sounds like a discount compared to some other areas (read on … ).
2. Silver Lake / Edendale / Echo Park. This is probably not that surprising, given the years-long trend of gentrification in the area known for its hipsters. (They must be rich hipsters). According to Redfin this part of the “Hipster Triangle” has seen a near 81 percent increase in June-over-June prices, with the median square-foot going for $575. Gulp.
And the hottest home-buying area in L.A. is …
1. Hollywood. Yep: That place where you really don't want to live for fear of being murdered or at least pummeled by bass emanating from a nearby nightclub is absolutely sizzling, according to Redfin. Price increase from June to June? 193 percent. Median price per square foot? $668.
Redfin agent Earnest Watts:
Hollywood is always popular because of the convenience factor. The big change I've seen there is a drop in distressed inventory. Last year, most of the homes I wrote offers on in Hollywood were short sales and foreclosures. This year, the distressed inventory is virtually gone, and more homeowners are just now getting above water on their mortgages so they can list their homes for sale. With so few homes for sale, and several people competing for each home, bidding wars are pushing prices up.
Here's Redfin's complete top 5 chart: