We knew West Adams is a great neighborhood, but we didn’t know that buying a house there was such a battle. Now we do: Redfin put West Adams on its list of 2016’s most competitive markets in the nation. West Adams took ninth place, and shared the top 10 spots with neighborhoods in San Francisco and Seattle metro areas.
What makes West Adams, which sits south of the 10 Freeway between Jefferson Park and Culver City, so competitive? Taylor Marr, a data scientist at Redfin who conducted analysis for the report, says West Adams saw a bigger drop in inventory than most of LA over the last 18 months, most likely because when houses sell fast, inventory declines quickly.
In November, the median time that homes in the LA metro area lingered on the market was 42 days. In West Adams, it was 25 days, says Marr.
West Adams had sustained median price growth in the period covered by in the report (January 1 to December 5, 2016), with the median sale price rising 22.5 percent in 2016. The year’s median sale price in West Adams was $550,688, according to Redfin data.
That price tag is also key to West Adams’s high desirability. Jeffery Marino, a Redfin spokesperson, says West Adams is in what Redfin real estate agents call “the sweet spot”—it’s in demand but the median price is under $600,000, which is still seen as “affordable.”
It’s not surprising that people are clamoring to buy in West Adams. It’s been hot for a little while now. In December of last year, West Adams’s median sale price was $525,000—up 27 percent over the median from December 2014. At that time, the average buyer was paying 2 percent over average to lock down a home in the neighborhood.
West Adams was the only neighborhood in the LA metro to make the cut, and that’s surprising.
Marr says one reason might be that cities such as Seattle have fewer places where people are fighting to buy a home, there are “pockets of concentrated wealth” that are highly desirable, but in LA there are many, many places where people want to buy. LA is highly competitive, Marr says, but all that competition is spread out. Seattle, for example, has 123 neighborhoods. Los Angeles has 235.
Two LA-area neighborhoods that just missed the cutoff for the top 30 most competitive in the nation were Inglewood and Mar Vista.