Real Estate Bulletin: The $ 1 Million House Is Everywhere

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Welcome to the Real Estate newsletter, which this week will be primarily devoted to recapping Andrew Khouri and I’s deep dive into the once-inaccessible million dollar house.

For decades, the popular perception of Southern California million dollar homes has been that of Beverly Hills properties or beachside bungalows. Seven numbers today might not even give you two bathrooms.

In a historic market that surged during the pandemic, homes worth $ 1 million or more have become the norm in once affordable communities, and due to rising incomes and historically rising costs of borrowing low, the number of people who can afford such a price has skyrocketed. Today, the typical $ 1 million LA home is a 1,500 square foot abode with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Not bad but not exactly luxury living.

In the city of LA, 15 neighborhoods joined the million dollar club during the pandemic, and most of them were clustered in three areas: Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley. Check if yours is on the list.

Looking to buy in this price range? Depending on where you look, $ 1 million can buy a 2,500 square foot home with three bedrooms or a comfortable two bedroom that is just over 800 square feet. The Times looked at what $ 1 million buys in six LA neighborhoods. Stories are for subscribers only, but if you throw us a dollar – The Times charges $ 1 for six months of digital access to the Los Angeles Times website – I promise you’ll find a million things to read.

Housing data for August fell this week and the numbers show a cooling market after a very hot summer. The median selling price for the six counties in Southern California was $ 680,000, down 0.1% from July.

Huge news has fallen from Sacramento as Governor Gavin Newsom, who just won the recall election, signed two zoning bills aimed at increasing housing density and making it easier to build multiple units on single family land.

On the celebrity side, one of the biggest real estate deals in Brentwood history came when music mogul Scooter Braun shelled out $ 65 million for a striking minimalist farmhouse. He bought it from venture capitalist Larry Paul, whose family is the second owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While catching up with you, visit and love our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.

The modern million dollar house

Devin Sunseri, fiancee Katie Scardino and their dog, Tallulah, at their home in Leimert Park.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The pandemic economy has driven Southern California’s competitive housing market to such overdrive that a defining marker of wealth – the million dollar home – has become the norm in a growing number of places.

Homes worth a million dollars or more now dominate communities of Altadena at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in West Adams in southern LA As bidding wars push prices even higher , more and more people are excluded from the communities where they grew up, and homeownership is increasingly beyond the reach of low- and middle-income Californians.

At the same time, the proliferation of million dollar homes shows that the price is not exaggerated for a growing share of Californians. It still takes financial strength to buy such a home, but a booming stock market, rising income, and historically low borrowing costs have made the $ 1 million home more popular than ever.

LA’s New Million Dollar Neighborhoods

A man fishes next to rows of swan pedal boats on a lake with fountains spouting into the air.

A fisherman casts his line near the idle pedal boats at Lake Echo Park.

(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

There have never been so many million dollar homes.

No longer limited to Santa Monica, the Hollywood Hills or the seaside towns of Orange County, the million dollar house is popping up in Southern California, driven by demand for larger spaces during the pandemic and the resulting spike in house prices.

In the city of Los Angeles, the neighborhoods that first crossed the million dollar threshold are largely located in three areas: northeastern Los Angeles, southern Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley. . Here are the 15 new million dollar neighborhoods in LA.

What is $ 1 million buying?

A modular house with a small lawn is surrounded by trees.

7028 avenue Firmament, Van Nuys, 91406

(Keller Williams Realty)

During the pandemic, 15 LA neighborhoods joined the million dollar club, in which the typical house is valued at $ 1 million or more, based on a formula used by Zillow. Depending on where you are looking, that amount can buy a four bedroom site with 3,000 square feet or a two bedroom bungalow with one bathroom.

Take a look at what $ 1 million is currently buying in six LA neighborhoods.

SoCal’s crazy market cools down in August

A close up of a "pending sale" sign with green lawn, trees, shrubs and house in the background.

A house finds a taker in Pasadena. The city’s neighbor to the north, Altadena, is a new member of the million dollar home club.

(David McNew / Getty Images)

Southern California home prices were essentially flat in August from the previous month, as the market cooled slightly from its scorching pace earlier this year, writes Andrew Khouri.

The six-county region’s median selling price – the point at which half of homes sold for more and half for less – was $ 680,000 last month, according to data released Monday by real estate firm DQNews. That’s a 0.1% slip from July.

Reflecting strong growth over the past year, the median was 13.9% above August 2020 levels. While large, this year-over-year gain was the smallest price increase since February.

Newsom signs large housing bills

A top view of a causeway and buildings near the ocean.

The parking lot at the bottom of this aerial image is the site of a proposed affordable housing project in Solana Beach.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday signed two invoices intended to facilitate the construction of more housing in California, write Jon Healey and Matthew Ballinger.

The first one, Senate Bill 9, allows more than one dwelling to be built on land that was previously designated for only one dwelling. The second, SB 10, allows denser development near public transport corridors, such as bus and train lines.

Here is an explanation of the concepts and the new laws.

Music mogul buys most expensive house of the year

A mansion sits on a green lawn.

Scooter Braun bought a sprawling modern mansion for $ 65 million.

(Benny Chan)

In Southern California’s most expensive market sale so far this year, music mogul Scooter Braun shelled out $ 65 million for a huge modern farm in Brentwood. Records show this is the most expensive deal in the history of the neighborhood.

Braun, a record manager who recently made headlines about his public feud with Taylor Swift, bought the brand new home from Larry Paul, a venture capitalist whose family is the second largest owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers .

Paul paid $ 11 million for the property in 2015 and razed the existing home, commissioning modern architect Noah Walker to create a 19,000-square-foot storefront on the nearly four-acre lot. Walker’s final product is a striking concoction of wood and stone that vaguely resembles a farmhouse with boxes stacked on top of each other.

What we read

If you think the Southern California market is tough, take a look at this 10-foot-wide Boston home that just sold for $ 1.25 million. Nicknamed “The Skinny House”, the house is said to have been built by a soldier after his return from the Civil War, NPR reports.

The wave of small houses did not slow down during the pandemic, and USA Today reports that Google searches for “small home rentals” have increased 113% over the past five years. They looked at a few perfect units across the country.


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