Venice Beach has consistently been one of the miraculous exceptions to the disastrous housing slump of the last couple of years. Though some property owners have had to revise unrealistic expectations of their properties value and a few unlucky souls who bought at the height of the market are now in for more than their investment is worth, property values in Venice have held remarkably stable for the last two years and the area has continued to enjoy some sales activity unlike many of the surrounding neighborhoods.
I think that the reasons for this are twofold. One, even though Venice can command some of the highest prices in Los Angeles per square foot, this is an older neighborhood which is still undergoing ‘gentrification,' with homes dating from the early to mid-1900's that are much smaller than those in many other parts of the Westside. Many properties can still be had close to the beach here for well under a million dollars. With the exception of Long Beach and San Pedro, Venice is the least expensive beach property from Malibu to Laguna Beach. Add to this the fact that this is prime time, high demand, L.A. basin real estate and that actually makes Venice one of the best deals in Southern California, if not the U.S in general.
Secondly, Venice beach enjoys an internationally recognized cachet ( the Baywatch Factor) bringing fresh buyers from near and far who want to be part of the Venice lifestyle which is still a bit funkier and more eclectic than some of the other beach towns.
Which brings us to Summer 2009.
Venice Beach is enjoying the most active real estate market on the Westside right now. Over the last two months 58 single family homes & 23 condominiums sold or are in escrow. According to the MLS, home prices averaged over one million dollars at more than $700 per square foot. That's up over $120 per s.f. from the previous three months. Pending sales are 20% to 30% higher than recently closed sales indicating increasing activity in higher end properties. Both condominiums & homes sold for almost 97% of the final listing price during this period. L.A. Times sales data published June 21st shows a 15% increase in median Venice home prices from May 08' to May 09', while the median price in the surrounding communities of Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, & Santa Monica fell an average of 20%.
The upshot of all this is that Venice Beach seems likely to be the continuing sucess story of the Los Angeles (and national) real estate market for some time to come. I live in Venice and will be glad to answer any questions that you have about this great neighborhood or show you around.
See Complete, Categorized, Up-to-Date MLS Listing for all Properties Available in Venice and L.A.'s Beach Cities at AJonesREALTOR's Website:
Andrew Jones is a Los Angeles native and resident of Venice Beach who is a real estate agent in both California & Nevada.