Friday, May 15, 2009

Sunset Strip - Hollywood Hills West Market Round-Up: March - April 2009

9262 Nightingale Drive

9262 Nightingale Drive

Forty-five homes sold in the Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills West neighborhood during March – April 2009, ranging in price from $220,000 to $6,250,000. The median sale price was $1.4 million. Half the properties sold in 50 days or fewer.

At the top of the market (and at the top of the world), 9262 Nightingale Drive, a four bedroom, three and one-half bath, 3,562 sq ft house in the Bird Streets sold for $6,250,000, well below its $7,995,000 listing price, after 770 days on the market. This gated “entertainer’s paradise” has a private pool and views from the ocean to Downtown. This house sold for $4,350,000 in June 2005.

2132 Mt Olympus Drive
2132 Mount Olympus Drive

Demand for some multi-million dollar homes is strong enough to elicit bidding wars. 2132 Mount Olympus Drive, a newly-remodeled contemporary four bedroom, four bath home with 3,476 of living area with sweeping views and a great pool sold for $3,140,000, $140,000 above the asking price, in seven days.
8855 St Ives Drive
8855 St Ives Drive

All multi-million dollar properties don’t attract multiple offers with buyers fumbling to get into the bidding fray. Over-priced homes, even the very desirable ones, will sit on the market until they reach a “clearing” price. 8855 St Ives Drive, a 1931 character Spanish pool home with three bedrooms, four baths and 3,929 sq ft of living area, sold in 262 days for $2,200,000, 37% below its original asking price of $3,495,000. The sellers were hardly running a loss -- this home sold for $1,367,500 in April 2003.

Months Supply of Inventory Sunset Strip April 2009
(click chart for more detail)

Sales activity has picked up in this luxury market. There is currently a twelve-month supply of inventory priced over $1 million in the Sunset Strip – Hollywood Hills West area – a far cry from the withering 38 month supply of inventory recorded in November 2008, after the financial crisis took its first whack at the stock market.

There are strong indications that the Sunset Strip – Hollywood Hills West market is stabilizing. For many buyers – even with excellent income and abundant reserves – it is still difficult to obtain a loan for $1 million or more. The fact that sales are as strong as they are in this challenging lending environment is nothing short of astonishing. What will be required for a full recovery of this market is the relaxing of jumbo loan underwriting requirements for well-qualified buyers.