Friday, February 6, 2009

Sunset Strip - Hollywood Hills West Market Round-Up: January 2009

Sunset Strip Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles Home - Interior ViewSunset Strip / Hollywood Hills West (Area 3): Although many markets in LA are gloomy, with withering sales volume and REOs galore, the houses in the eternally hip hills above Sunset Boulevard from Doheny to LaBrea are still selling, driven by buyers with cash reserves, unruffled by the liquidity crisis.

13 houses closed in Sunset Strip / Hollywood West in January 2009. The three highest priced sales are all in the Bird Streets / Sunset Plaza Drive areas. The top sales were $3.0 million (9010 Hopen Place), $2.0 million (1458 Blue Jay Way) and $1.5 million (1462 Rising Glen Road). Ironically, the two top sales are both complete gut-and-remodel opportunities.

Five of the sales in January 2009 were for $1,000,000 or less (one a short sale, another, an REO). The fact that buyers are willing to spend $2 - 3 million on a house during these dire days shows that the bottom indeed has not fallen out of the market.

But neither is the market brisk. Many homes are not selling – 48 listings expired in the Sunset Strip/ Hollywood Hills West area during the month of January. Only one house in five put on the market in this area results in a sale. Either owners will have to reduce their prices to sell -- or wait until sunnier times.

The 13 sales in January 2009 in Sunset Strip / Hollywood Hills West did not vary much from the number of sales during January last year (14). These figures are a significant drop-off from the sales volume in January during the boom years of 2005 - 2007: 28 (2007), 28 (2006), 29 (2005). The median sale price in January 2009 was $1,075,000, which, although low, is not much of a departure from the (erratic) median sale price which varied from a low of $1,150,000 (2005) to a high of $2,060,000 (2008) over the past four years.

Jamie Adner