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Eight-Figure Medians and Record-Breaking Deals – These Are 2018’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods in the L.A. Area

Key takeaways:

  • Malibu Colony Beach remains the #1 most expensive neighborhood in L.A. area with $10M+ median.
  • Biggest sale of the year fetches $110M, breaks L.A. price record.
  • Top L.A. neighborhoods continue to far outprice NYC, with two posting eight-figure medians.
  • Beverly Hills Gateway registers 31% y-o-y price expansion.
  • Just short of the $3 million mark, Pacific Palisades is the most expensive neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles.

L.A. area’s top spot nearly three times pricier than NYC’s #1

With 2018 wrapping up, it’s time for us here at PropertyShark to take a look at the priciest neighborhoods in the most expensive cities in the country. TriBeCa and SoHo continue as the price leaders of NYC, while Presidio Heights’ median surged 25%, making the small neighborhood San Francisco’s most expensive. However, neither NYC nor San Francisco measure up to L.A.’s sky-high medians.

Analyzing all residential transactions closed between January 1st, 2018 and December 14, 2018, two winners emerge: The City of Los Angeles, boasting 16 of the area’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods, followed close behind by Malibu with 14 entries. Los Angeles and Malibu may dominate by sheer volume, but Beverly Hills made a strong showing as well. Of the four neighborhoods the iconic enclave supplied for our top, three rank among the 5 priciest in the L.A. area – Beverly Hills Gateway at #2, Trousdale at #3 and Beverly Hills Flats at #4.

Santa Monica also made a strong showing, grabbing seven spots in our top. The priciest Santa Monica neighborhood, North of Montana, landed #7 with a median sale price of $3,869,000. Thanks to a 7% year-over-year price increase, Santa Monica’s sole presence in our top 10 held onto its 2017 spot. In fact, Santa Monica’s most expensive neighborhood outpriced L.A.’s top spot.

Los Angeles’ most expensive neighborhood only managed to squeeze in at #11 with a $2,995,000 median sale price. With 189 closed sales in 2018, Pacific Palisades saw a 10% appreciation in its median sale price, bumping it up four positions from the previous year. Malibu continued to dominate the L.A. market, ranking 6 neighborhoods among the 10 priciest, including the #1 most expensive neighborhood in L.A.– the eight-figure Malibu Colony Road.

L.A.’s two priciest neighborhoods surpass the $10 million mark

Malibu Colony Beach/Malibu Road remains the #1 most expensive neighborhood in 2018, despite an 11% price drop. L.A.’s#1 most expensive neighborhood posted a $10,650,000 median sale price. That’s more than 15 times the area’s median sale price, which clocked in at $705,000 – up from last year’s median of $654,500. It’s also 2.75 times pricier than NYC #1 TriBeCa, which posted a $3,850,000 median in 2018.

Malibu Colony Beach managed to hold onto its top spot thanks to a handful of high-priced sales, among them was 25040 Pacific Coast Highway. Canadian billionaire Darryl Katz picked up the trophy estate back in February for $85 million, making it the neighborhood’s #1 deal this year, as well as the 8th most expensive home ever to be sold in California. The 6-bedroom modernist creation was developed by celebrity real estate mogul Kurt Rappaport and, at 168 feet, features the longest residential swimming pool in California.

Thanks to a whopping 31% year-over-year increase in its median sale price, Beverly Hills Gateway grabbed the #2 spot in our 2018 list. The impressive price gain saw this Beverly Hills neighborhood post an eight-figure median and climb one spot over 2017 rankings. Going from a $7.7 million median in 2017 to a $10.05 million median in 2018 also makes Beverly Hills Gateway the most dynamic neighborhood in the L.A. region this year. Beverly Hills Gateway’s top sale this year was the 7-bed 825 Loma Vista Drive, which fetched $33,901,000 back in March.

Santa Monica neighborhood outprices NYC’s TriBeCa

Although it slid one spot, Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Estates stays on the podium, ranking as the 3rd priciest neighborhood in L.A. in 2018 with a $8,535,000 median sale price. While the exclusive Beverly Hills neighborhood did experience a 5% contraction in its median sale price, its minor slip in rankings was mainly due to Beverly Hills Gateway’s vertiginous price hike.

Despite the small dip in Trousdale Estates’ median sale price, the Beverly Hills neighborhood remains more than twice as expensive as NYC’s priciest. In fact, Santa Monica’s North of Montana, which landed #7, also outpriced TriBeCa – meaning that NYC’s top neighborhood would only rank eighth in the L.A. area.

As for Trousdale Estates’ most expensive sale this year, the $15.5 million deal closed in March for 1115 Wallace Ridge, a 5,500-square-foot, 4-bed home with far-reaching views.

Top sale of the year is most expensive home to ever trade in L.A. area

2018 was a banner year for L.A. area residential sales, with 3 of the 10 most expensive homes ever sold in California trading hands here this year. Among them was 22258 – 22310 Pacific Coast Highway, a 7-bed, 7,000-square-foot mansion on Billionaire’s Beach.

Energy tycoon Michael S. Smith and wife Iris bought the former residence of Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton for a staggering $110 million, making this the 2nd most expensive home ever sold in California, and the #1 most expensive home to ever sell in the L.A. area. However, despite the record-breaking sale, the neighborhood of Carbon Mesa didn’t make our top 50 due to depressed sales activity, registering fewer than 5 transactions this year.

Malibu home to sharpest neighborhood price drops

With 10 neighborhoods posting medians above the $3 million mark – including five above the $5 million mark – 2018 continued positive price trends for the L.A. region. Out of the area’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods nine saw medians slide, with two dramatic price cuts.

Malibu’s Broad Beach saw its median slashed by 28%, tumbling from $4.3 million in 2017 to $3.2 million this year. While Broad Beach managed to remain in out top ten, landing #9, Malibu’s Point Dume was less fortunate. #6 in 2017 with a $3.7 million median, Point Dume’s median dropped 25% year-over-year, ending 2018 at #16 with a $2.75 million median sale price.

On the other end of the spectrum sits #2 Beverly Hills Gateway with its 31% median sale price jump. The Malibu community was followed by two neighborhoods from the City of Los Angeles in terms of price growth: Hollywood Hills and Brentwood. 228 sales pushed Brentwood’s median up 24% to close 2018 with a median sale price of $2,276,000. For Hollywood Hills, a 26% spike in the median sale price meant climbing from 2017’s #43 to #35 in 2018. The 271 sales that closed here this year resulted in a $1,610,000 median sale price.

For the full list of L.A. County’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods, check out the table below:

RankCityNeighborhoodMedian Sale Price 2018Y-o-Y Change
1MalibuMalibu Road, Malibu Colony Beach$1,0650,000-11%
2Beverly HillsBeverly Hills Gateway$10,050,00031%
3Beverly HillsTrousdale$8,535,000-5%
4Beverly HillsBeverly Hills Flats$7,450,0000%
5MalibuSerra Retreat$5,475,000n/a
6MalibuCarbon Beach$4,000,00015%
7Santa MonicaNorth of Montana$3,869,0007%
8MalibuLa Costa$3,412,50018%
9MalibuBroad Beach$3,200,000-28%
10MalibuLas Flores Beach$3,137,000n/a
11Los AngelesPacific Palisades$2,995,00010%
12Manhattan BeachSand Section$2,994,5003%
13Los AngelesBel Air$2,888,5002%
14MalibuMalibu Park$2,882,500-13%
15MalibuBig Rock Mesa$2,800,0000%
16MalibuPoint Dume$2,750,000-25%
17Manhattan BeachHill Section$2,600,000-13%
18Manhattan BeachTree Section$2,400,0001%
19MalibuTopanga Beach$2,360,0007%
20Los AngelesWindsor Square$2,350,0005%
21Los AngelesBeverly Crest$2,300,0005%
22Los AngelesBrentwood$2,276,00024%
23Los AngelesCheviot Hills$2,105,000-9%
24Manhattan BeachMira Costa$2,052,5002%
25Los AngelesHollywood Hills West$2,000,00014%
26Los AngelesBeverlywood$1,950,0007%
27Los AngelesHancock Park$1,925,00016%
28Los AngelesFairfax$1,872,50013%
29Manhattan BeachEl Porto$1,850,0003%
30MalibuMalibu Knolls$1,800,000n/a
31Santa MonicaSunset Park$1,792,00011%
32Los AngelesVenice$1,791,50014%
33MalibuRamirez Canyon$1,750,000n/a
34MalibuMalibu West$1,720,500n/a
35Los AngelesHollywood Hills$1,610,00026%
36Beverly HillsSouth of Santa Monica Blvd$1,604,500-9%
37Los AngelesCarthay$1,555,0005%
38Los AngelesLos Feliz$1,550,00017%
38Long BeachPeninsula$1,550,0005%
39Manhattan BeachManhattan Village$1,545,0003%
40Manhattan BeachManhattan Heights$1,535,0008%
41MalibuLatigo Canyon$1,500,000n/a
42Los AngelesMar Vista$1,427,2503%
43Los AngelesBeverly Grove$1,425,00017%
43Santa MonicaWilshire - Montana$1,425,0005%
44Culver CityPark East$1,410,00011%
45Culver CityBlair Hills$1,367,000n/a
46Long BeachNaples$1,350,000-6%
47Culver CityStudio Village$1,320,000n/a
48Culver CityMcLaughlin$1,313,00016%

Interested in a more detailed breakdown of 2018 data? Check out Q1 and Q2 rankings, or our Q3 top 20 most expensive neighborhoods in the L.A. area.

Methodology:

To determine the most expensive neighborhoods in the L.A. area, we looked at all residential transactions that closed between January 1st, 2018 and December 14, 2018, for single- and two-family houses. All package deals were excluded. To provide an accurate picture of real estate prices, we only included neighborhoods with a minimum of 5 transactions into our ranking.

We defined the L.A. area as the City of Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica, Topanga, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Culver City, Inglewood, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita, Lawndale and Hawthorne.

Data on small neighborhoods has been incorporated into statistics for larger areas. As such, Malibu Road and Malibu Beach Colony are treated as one neighborhood, while Roxbury Park, Doheny South East, Doheny South West, Burton North, Burton South, Beverly Hills South East, Beverly Hills Heights, Golden Triangle and La Cienega Park were incorporated into South of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

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. Reach her at [email protected]

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