Wednesday, December 9, 2009

$1 million+ Condos Sell in West Hollywood - Median Price $455,000 - Growing Shadow Inventory of New Construction Portends Price Chops

The West Hollywood condo resale market has tightened in the past two months. The months supply of inventory peaked in the depths of the financial crisis at the end of 2008 and has been declining since. The $8,000 homebuyer credit, record low interest rates, and the "affordable" median sale price of $455,000 have spurred buying.

A few units over $1 million are changing hands for the first time in months.
The highest sale was a unit in the Empire West, the august, 1960's building at the corner of Holloway and Alta Loma. A 14th floor, 2 br, 2.5 ba unit with 2,264 sq ft of living area sold for $1,775,000.
Another $1 million + sale was 912 N San Vicente Boulevard, #5, "The Vue". The end unit in this five-unit complex south of Sunset sold for $1,200,000 -- before it hit market. The multi-level unit has 3 br, 2.5 ba, 1,830 sq ft of living area and 18' ceilings.
A new construction building that sold quickly was 8703 West Knoll Drive. Two penthouses topped $1 million -- PH#1 sold for $1,200,000 (3 br, 3 ba, 2,842 sq ft) and PH#2 sold for $1,100,000 (2 br, 2 b.5 ba, 2,660 sq ft).
And the best, recent vintage resale units are retaining their value. This 2 br, 2.5 bath 1,490 sq ft unit at 825 N Kings Road, the ground-breaking project by Lorcan O'Herlihy Habitat 825 sold for $950,000.

The market is on the mend, but the data don't capture the developing "shadow inventory" of higher-priced new construction.

Most units priced $700,000 and above not selling, and a situation that will worsen when 80 - 100 new units come to market in Q1 2010.

Some banks and developers are going under and new banks, equity partners, mezzanine financiers, etc. are buying their loans on the cheap.

The result should be a boon for buyers as new sellers can chop prices (Le Melange on Fairfax sold 50% of its 20 units in 6 weeks). Look for bargains to come.

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