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Metro L.A. Residential Price Evolution 2014-2018: Beverly Hills Remains Most Expensive Market at $3M; Inglewood Leads Growth with 60% Median Gain

Key Takeaways:

  • Prices up across Los Angeles County; dynamic sales activity marks Orange County.
  • Medians up 20% or more in nearly half of Metro L.A. markets.
  • Compton median up 40%, becomes fourth fastest rising market.
  • Lake Forest and Ladera Ranch expand sales activity by 56%.
  • Beverly Hills most expensive Metro L.A. market with $3M median.

Metro L.A.’s real estate market remains among the most exclusive nationwide, with two of its neighborhoods posting median sale prices above the $10 million mark last year. Curious to see which towns and cities had shown the most dynamic price evolution in the past five years, we analyzed all residential sales closed between 2014 and 2018 in 67 towns and cities in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

One of the most immediate findings was the relentless price growth that dominated the area. 64 of the 67 analyzed markets recorded positive growth, and half experienced a median sale price gain of 20% or more in only five years.  Of these, 10 markets actually saw their medians surge by 30% or more, three of which jumped more than 40%. Inglewood and Culver City, in particular, set the bar high: Culver City’s median sale price surged 60% between 2014 and 2018, while Inglewood went even further with a 63% expansion.

L.A. County Leads Price Gain, Orange County on Top for Sales Activity Growth

Overall, Los Angeles County dominated through top price gains, securing seven of the 10 most dynamic price surges. Orange County, on the other hand, was the setting for the only three markets where the median sale price contracted between 2014 and 2018. But, the losses observed in the medians of Brea, Laguna Beach and Silverado were negligible, dipping no lower than -4%.

Orange County, however, supplied the most dynamic sales activity gains. Nine of the top 10 markets for sales activity growth were located here. With 56% more sales in 2018 than 2014, Lake Forest and Ladera Ranch were the Metro L.A. markets where sales activity accelerated most. On the other end of the spectrum was Foothill Ranch, where sales activity plummeted 64%.

All in all, sales activity slowed in 34 of the 67 towns and cities we reviewed. Only 15 markets saw sales activity grow 10% or more; of these, only Lake Forest, Ladera Ranch, Irvine and Costa Mesa closed 20% or more sales in 2018 than in 2014. Lake Forest also made a name for itself – along with Yorba Linda – for spectacular growth in the median home size, which was up 67% in both locations. At the same time, the number of luxury markets rose – from 11 locations with medians of $1 million and above to a total of 18.

Inglewood & Culver City Median Sale Price up 60% in Just Five Years

Metro L.A.’s most dynamic price expansion actually took place in a non-luxury market. Inglewood’s median sale price went from the high $200,000s in 2014 to $485,000 in 2018 – registering an impressive 63% gain. While the median size of an Inglewood home went virtually unchanged, the median price per square foot surged 61%, hitting $367/square foot in 2018.

But, this wasn’t the biggest expansion in price per square foot between 2014 and 2018. That top evolution was secured by Palmdale, where its 2014 median of $155/square foot jumped 69%. From a median sale price perspective, Palmdale’s evolution was the eighth-most dynamic in Metro L.A. at 37%.

Culver City was also hot on the heels of Inglewood, with a 60% price gain between 2014 and 2018. This resulted in a more than $400,000 gain in its median sale price, pushing Culver City up to a 2018 median of $1,150,000. It also marked the second-highest gain in sheer dollar amount. Additionally, Culver City increased in the price-per-square-foot category, as well, with a 61% rise – the fifth priciest in the area.

Midway City, which had a modest median sale price in the mid-$400,000s in 2014, saw the third-sharpest median sale price appreciation in Metro L.A. Its 42% boost resulted in a 2018 median of $655,000, while sales activity fell 42%. As a result, Midway City’s median price per square foot rose by more than one-third.

Compton also experienced massive pricing shifts in the past five years. A 40% upsurge resulted in a $352,500 median sale price. At the same time, sales activity slowed by 28%.

City of Los Angeles Closes Most Sales for 25% Median Increase

Although no Metro L.A. analysis would be complete without detailing the City of Los Angeles’ evolution, L.A. did not distinguish itself in any other metric than sales activity. But, closing the largest number of sales – nearly 16,000 in 2018 – among all Metro L.A. markets is to be expected from what is the largest and most populous market here. From the perspective of price growth, L.A.’s median price per square foot gained 24% over 2014 levels, while its median sale price jumped 25%, increasing $172,954. The median home size remained unchanged.

Malibu Median Sale Price Gains More Than $500,000 in Value

Looking at Metro L.A.’s residential price evolution from a dollar perspective, Malibu leads comfortably, with an increase of more than $520,000 in its median sale price. That 24% expansion allowed Malibu to hold on to its position as the second most expensive market in Metro L.A, posting a 2018 median sale price of $2.75 million.

Malibu also saw significant growth in its median square footage, which was the third highest at a 38% expansion rate. This, in turn, put pressure on the median price per square foot, which slid 10%. However, at $1,240/square foot, this was the fourth highest in Metro L.A. in 2018.

Furthermore, Malibu was just one of 18 L.A. Metro markets that had medians above the $1 million mark in 2018 – a noticeable shift from 2014, when there were only 11. But, while Long Island’s luxury residential markets showed a homogenous trend of declining sales activity, Metro L.A.’s upper- echelon markets presented a much more fragmented picture.

For instance, Beverly Hills – the most expensive market in Metro L.A. at a $2,982,500 median sale price – was characterized by a 32% upturn in the median square footage and a 17% drop in its median price per square foot. However, the former metric still remained the fourth highest in the area.

73% More Markets Feature Million-Dollar Medians Than in 2014

Redondo Beach, another million-dollar market, experienced a similar trend of flattening price per square foot paired with spectacular increases in the median home size. In fact, Redondo Beach had the most vertical expansion of its median home size by far, ballooning 80% from 1,182 in 2014 to 2,132 last year.

Hermosa Beach, on the other hand, saw its median home size, price and price per square foot expand, while Laguna Beach’s median was one of only three in Metro L.A. that contracted between 2014 and 2018. Despite that contraction, Laguna Beach was one of only six markets that featured a median price per square foot above $1,000.

Manhattan Beach and Newport Beach sported the two highest at $1,543/square foot and $1,512/square foot, respectively. The two high-income markets also ranked third and fourth for sheer dollar amount growth, which, in turn, secured their respective positions as third- and fourth-most expensive Metro L.A markets in 2018.

Then there was Calabasas, playground for the rich and very famous, which had one of the weakest price evolutions in the area at only 9%. But, it boasted the largest median square footage of 2018 at 3,273 square feet, despite a modest 6% uptick. Still popular with high net worth buyers, it also had the eighth-highest median sale price at $1,445,500.

Check out the table below for the full picture of Metro L.A.’s residential price evolution:

RankLocation2014 Median Sale Price (Inflation-Adjusted)2018 Median Sale Price2014-2018 Median Sale Price Evolution2014-2018 Median Home Size Evolution2014-2018 Median Price/ Sq. Ft Evolution
1Inglewood $298,044 $485,000 63%1%61%
2Culver City $719,601 $1,150,000 60%0%61%
3Midway City $461,296 $655,000 42%4%36%
4Compton $252,397 $352,500 40%-4%46%
5Lake Forest $575,144 $800,000 39%67%-17%
6Lancaster $191,177 $263,000 38%0%38%
7El Segundo $866,206 $1,191,250 38%8%27%
8Palmdale $204,603 $280,000 37%-19%69%
9Gardena $392,021 $512,500 31%-1%32%
10Pomona $314,691 $410,000 30%-3%35%
11Glendale $692,750 $899,000 30%6%22%
12Long Beach $437,668 $565,000 29%1%28%
13Laguna Woods $256,693 $330,000 29%6%22%
14Carson $381,549 $490,000 28%1%27%
15La Habra $408,285 $521,250 28%2%25%
16Garden Grove $456,463 $580,000 27%-1%28%
17Redondo Beach $858,151 $1,080,000 26%80%-30%
18Los Angeles $697,046 $870,000 25%0%24%
19Foothill Ranch $472,574 $589,000 25%2%23%
20Santa Ana $431,675 $535,000 24%0%24%
21Dana Point $846,336 $1,047,500 24%3%20%
22Malibu $2,201,763 $2,725,000 24%38%-10%
23Westminster $542,386 $660,000 22%1%21%
24Stanton $347,986 $423,250 22%4%17%
25Santa Monica $1,315,688 $1,600,000 22%6%15%
26San Clemente $859,225 $1,043,500 21%2%19%
27Topanga $1,006,367 $1,221,500 21%1%21%
28Newport Beach $1,809,742 $2,190,000 21%8%12%
29Anaheim $472,574 $570,000 21%2%18%
30Hermosa Beach $1,398,388 $1,680,000 20%13%6%
31Hawthorne $577,292 $690,000 20%-5%25%
32Torrance $661,066 $790,000 20%4%15%
33Manhattan Beach $2,051,399 $2,450,000 19%6%13%
34Costa Mesa $703,490 $840,000 19%-1%21%
35Fullerton $526,275 $627,000 19%-2%21%
36Lakewood $472,037 $560,500 19%0%19%
37Cypress $535,941 $636,000 19%2%16%
38Los Alamitos $848,484 $1,006,250 19%0%18%
39Castaic $450,019 $531,250 18%3%15%
40Buena Park $477,944 $564,000 18%7%10%
41Trabuco Canyon $1,008,515 $1,189,000 18%-2%20%
42Placentia $547,756 $645,000 18%-12%34%
43Rancho Santa Margarita $561,450 $655,000 17%4%13%
44Orange $582,662 $669,000 15%-1%15%
45Tustin $585,347 $670,000 14%6%8%
46Fountain Valley $682,010 $780,000 14%1%14%
47Pasadena $778,672 $880,000 13%-6%20%
48La Palma $636,843 $717,500 13%2%11%
49Seal Beach $870,502 $980,000 13%-5%19%
50Santa Clarita $485,999 $545,000 12%3%9%
51Mission Viejo $621,327 $695,000 12%2%10%
52Huntington Beach $730,341 $815,000 12%8%4%
53Laguna Niguel $750,748 $836,000 11%-3%15%
54Villa Park $1,208,285 $1,344,500 11%3%8%
55La Verne $606,827 $672,000 11%-1%12%
56Aliso Viejo $505,869 $560,000 11%3%7%
57Ladera Ranch $744,840 $821,000 10%19%-7%
58Laguna Hills $655,159 $720,000 10%1%9%
59Beverly Hills $2,717,298 $2,982,500 10%32%-17%
60Irvine $918,296 $1,004,500 9%27%-14%
61Calabasas $1,322,400 $1,445,500 9%6%3%
62Agoura Hills $828,078 $891,000 8%2%5%
63San Juan Capistrano $826,735 $865,000 5%8%-3%
64Yorba Linda $837,744 $859,500 3%67%-39%
65Brea $740,544 $735,000 -1%13%-12%
66Laguna Beach $1,917,145 $1,850,000 -4%4%-7%
67Silverado $504,794 $483,000 -4%0%-4%

Methodology:

For this study, we defined Metro L.A. as Orange and Los Angeles counties.

To determine the evolution of residential prices, we considered all residential transactions closed between 2014 and 2018 in 67 towns and cities in Metro L.A., taking into consideration single family homes, condo units and co-op units. All package deals were excluded. In order to have reliable price trend data, we set a minimum of 20 sales per year per location.

We individually calculated the median sale price for each location; 2014 prices were adjusted for inflation using the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator.

Theiss Eliza

Theiss Eliza

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza writes for both PropertyShark and CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]