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CurbedWire: Downtown Real Estate Agents Dispute Times Piece, Glendale Development

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DOWNTOWN: Fallout still from that Los Angeles Times piece that stated that the downtown real estate market was looking shaky: Behold the letter sent to the Times by the Downtown Real Estate Association, a consortium of residential real estate agents. Allegations of zip code missing info, and this: Downtown condo sales in first quarter 2008 are already above the figures for the same period of 2007. Plus, people in downtown care about the homeless, dammit, otherwise they'd be living in a gated community in Valley! The whole thing is after the jump and worth a read. [Curbed Inbox]

GLENDALE: A tipster tells us Hudson On Adams Hill, a new 54 unit townhome and condo development at 1118 East Palmer Avenue, is about to release their second bunch (10-15 units) of condos. Nice! We're told HOAs start at a very respectable $99 a month. The rest of the prices start at $299,000 (or $292,000 with no broker co op), a figure which seems like Monopoly money at this point. For those of you unfamiliar with Adams Hill, it's a quaint neighborhood where Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins turned their Snowbird Ice Cream shop into the first Baskin-Robbins. [Curbed InBox]


Date: March 17, 2008

Re: The following is an official response to the LA Times article titled “Downtown not the center of it all” by Peter Hong, published on March 13, 2008 from the Downtown Real Estate Association members, a group of licensed REALTORS® committed to promoting and fostering the professional ethics and camaraderie of its members in conducting real estate transactions as well as educating and promoting life in the Downtown Los Angeles market.

To: John Corrigan, Deputy City Editor, Los Angeles Times, Peter Hong, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Company: Los Angeles Times


Downtown Real Estate Association, a consortium of residential REALTORS® with deep roots in the rebirth of downtown as a residential oasis, wishes to comment on and correct the record in regards to Peter Hong’s piece "Downtown not the center of it all: Downtown fails to lure residents” published March 13, 2008 on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and continued on page A15:

Mr. Hong used information gathered from a company called DataQuick to make a biased statement of the downtown market, but a review of their website and charts containing information on residential sales in Los Angeles failed to list several of the key zip codes for the downtown market including 90014, 90013, 90015, 90017, 90021. We would suggest you refer to area 42 in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Los Angeles, which delineates the “new downtown”. The average asking price for a condo the 1st Qtr '07 was $573,366 and the last Qtr '07 was $595,819. And since the end of 2006 the prices have softened about 16% as compared to Citywide of about 20% (as reported by the LA Times on March 14, 2008).

Downtown Los Angeles is faring better than the region overall. Yes, the condo resale market has slowed along with the rest of the country; however, new condo development sales have increased making overall sales quite healthy. The total number of condos reported sold in the MLS for Downtown in the first quarter 2006 was 27, for the first quarter 2007 it was 75, and for the first quarter 2008 to date it is 19. Add to that the number of contracts written for new condo sales not reported in the MLS for this quarter and we are well above 2007’s figures. For comparison the total number of condos reported sold in the MLS for Hollywood in the first quarter 2006 was 4, for the first quarter 2007 it was 10, and for the first quarter 2008 to date it is 14. Today, most of downtown housing is comprised of new product introduced by developers with a small number of resale units coming on line. Just three of the many developers report 22 sales in just the past 30 days. Even in today’s market, most resales units are selling at a profit.

There is no lack of interest in living downtown... simply a restraint (hopefully temporary) of financing due to a systemic dysfunction in lending protocols because of the nationwide mortgage crisis. Even with a lack of lending support, there are those who can and are still investing in the downtown market. Downtown population grew 21% in 2006 since 2004. The median household income for downtown households with at least one income earner was $99,600 in the 2006 survey - almost double the average median income for the city. Of those households, about 17% made between $100,000 and $124,999 and more than 14% claimed an income over $200,000.

So, if many who were wary of downtown in its infancy retreated to the burbs, what lures those who are now buying and renting downtown with its 1% vacancy rate?

• Not only Empty-nesters but a vibrant and upwardly mobile class of people who desire to live near Disney Hall and the Music Center and Staples/Nokia Theater have moved in to help structure the downtown scape to what it is today

• Entertainment, communications, internet, technology innovators and creative young professionals who don't want to live in a cookie-cutter community and who want to use the area’s transportation linkages when they venture outside downtown’s energizing and supportive environment.

• People who decry a gated community and have joined with City government to be part of the dynamic of addressing the needs of the disadvantaged among us in the same way as Santa Monica has.

• The 8 to 10 billion dollars worth of development being poured into downtown neighborhoods on such projects as LA Live, Grand Avenue, Educational institutions including the Colburn School, Theatre restorations, Bringing Back Broadway initiative, new subway stations, hotels, parks and lots more retail. This is attractive to every investor and we have seen an increase in foreign investment in downtown.

Whether you want to live in an architecturally significant readapted piece of LA history or a vibrant arts community or in the middle of a cultural district in a luxury condo, downtown has it all! What downtown has that no area of the City will ever have is a place for every lifestyle imaginable. Downtown grew naturally from the birthplace of Los Angeles to become the diverse economic, social and cultural district it is today: not only the center but a microcosm of our vast city.

In the future we would be happy to provide you with accurate information regarding the downtown real estate market. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

For Further Information Contact:

Bill Cooper

President, DREA

849 S Broadway, Loft 810

Los Angeles, CA 90014


[Photo via Eric Richardson/Blogdowntown]