Los Angeles’s Luxury Market Goes From Strength to Strength

LA never stands still, and its luxury real estate market surely hasn’t, with ultra-high net worth individuals securing US$10 million+ (A$12.8 million+) homes at a voracious pace.

“The pandemic shone a spotlight on large spacious homes with coastal or mountain views – something Los Angeles offers in spades,” Knight Frank head of international research Kate Everett-Allen said.

The pandemic-induced reassessment of lifestyles saw sales activity surge in 2020 with super prime sales over US$10 million (A$12.8 million) increasing 26 per cent year-on-year, according to Knight Frank.

One 155 properties transacted at this level, overshadowing the 123 registered in 2019.

Los Angeles has more millionaires than Hong Kong or Singapore, with over 583,000 of them, with 5507 ultra-high net worth individuals calling LA home – those with more than $30 million (A$38.5 million) in US assets – only New York and London have a higher concentration of wealth than Los Angeles.

According to Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100), Los Angeles has seen market increases over the past ten years, with luxury prices growing 7.6 per cent in 2020.

The highest prices were paid for single-family residences with a lot of open space and views of the mountains or the beach.

Knight Frank said it anticipates a three per cent rise in prime prices in 2021, as the pandemic-induced boom in revenue subsides marginally owing to a scarcity of good supply.

The housing market in California halted after a ‘stay-at-home’ order was released on March 19, 2020, but steps eased in May, and by July, signed contracts were up 47 per cent month-over-month as buyers reassessed their lifestyles and sought more room, according to Knight Frank.

As consumers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates, cash buyers as a percentage of overall transactions in Los Angeles fell from 41 per cent in Q2 2020 to 20 per cent in the final quarter.

The city’s main limitation is a lack of supply; both new construction and listings fell in 2020, with new single-family home listings falling by 47 per cent in the year to March 2021, according to Knight Frank.

Bel-Air trophy home sells for US$61.5 million — a 2021 high

Barron Hilton’s house, a Bel-Air trophy estate where the business magnate lived from the 1960s until his death in 2019, recently sold for US$61.5 million (A$79 million), according to reports.

That makes it this year’s highest-selling property in LA this calendar year, beating out a Beverly Park mansion that was auctioned off for US$51 million (A$ 65 million) and a Palisades estate that was sold for US$48.67 (A$62.5 million) million.

The Georgian-style mansion, which sits on 2.5 acres was designed in 1936 by Paul R. Williams and features all the luxurious touches needed in an entertainer like this.

The property’s most recognisable characteristic is a custom Moderne-inspired pool blue, gold, and yellow tiles depicting the 12 signs of the Zodiac. 

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