Monday, October 24, 2011

October 2011: West Hollywood Condo Prices Down 40% From Market Highs; Foreclosures and Short Sales Make Up 31% of Closed Sales; Yet Median Price Unchanged at Lofty $500,000

Our assessment of the West Hollywood condo market is that:
  1. Prices are off 40% since the top of the market; 
  2. Short sales and foreclosures are making their mark on the market -- a whopping 31% of the 85 condo sales in the past three months have been distressed properties.
  3. Condos in premium, new construction projects are retaining their value more than resales in older buildings (60's -- 90's);
  4. Yet ... the median price of $500,000 has not changed since 2009.
Let's take a look at what's been selling.


1200 N Sweetzer Ave #8 - 2 br, 2.5 bath, 1,378 sq ft - $800,000 

The ten units at 1200 N Sweetzer Avenue, which has been marketed for nearly two years, have now all sold, ranging in price from $520,000 - $1,100,000.  Final selling price on average was $523/sq ft, well above the $399/sq ft that the 32-unit Harper West Hollywood, one block away, sold for.  Unit #8, a mid-priced unit, closed at $800,000, $580/sq ft.

825 N Kings Road -- Habitat 825

#15 -- 2 br, 2.5 bath, 1,580 sq ft - $734,900
#11 -- 2 br, 2.0 bath, 1,270 sq ft -- $725,000

Habitat 825 is an award-winning project by Lorcan O'herlihy Architects next to the Schindler House on Kings Road between Melrose and Santa Monica Boulevard. This building was launched in 2007, and units are now selling well below their original sale prices.   Consider that #15 sold as a foreclosure for $734,900, off 40% from its original $1,222,000 sale price.

 

751 N Fairfax Avenue -- Lofts @ Cherokee Studios

#5 - 2 br, 2.0 bath, 1,506 sq ft - $591,000
#12 - 2 br, 2.5 bath, 1,377 sq ft - $531,000
#2 - 1 br, 1. bath, 1,197 sq ft - $468,000

Previously listed at stratospheric prices and then foreclosed upon, the ultra-"green" Lofts @ Cherokee Studios on Fairfax between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose is now selling at about $390/sq ft.  Given the numerous expensive features and fixtures, this project is likely selling below replacement cost.  The developer's loss is the buyer's gain.

 7917 Willoughby Avenue #1 -- 2 br, 2.5 b, 1,580 sq ft -- $722,500

This project near Fairfax and Santa Monica Boulevard has eight excellent sleek, modern, loft-style units and sold out in late 2008 and early 2009.  Unit #1 sold for $830,000 in November 2008, and thus lost 13% of its value in approximately three years.  In spite of the price drop, this high-quality new construction has retained its value better than older stock.


1134 Alta Loma Road #104 -- 2 br, 2.0 bath, 1,038 sq ft -- $375,000

This foreclosure in a 48-unit building near Sunset Plaza sold at discount of 40% from its 2005 sale price of $625,000.   Like its period brethren, this 1972 vintage building did not fare as well as its contemporary counterparts, as many upside-down and distressed owners have been forced to sell or are alienated from their condos, creating a downward cascade in pricing.



839 Larabee Street #1 - 2 br, 2.0 bath, 1,500 sq ft - $420,000

This is a foreclosure in a 1980's building in the center of West Hollywood that sold for $280/sq ft.  Consider that this unit sold for $320,000 in 2001.

 
1250 N Kings Road #404 - 2 br, 2.0 bath, 1,121 sq ft - $390,000

A upgraded 2.0 br, 2.0 bath unit on a great street for less than $390,000.  A very good price throwing the rent vs. own proposition back into balance.


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