Last week, I took a look at home sales in Beverly Hills and found that, as many agents have claimed, the housing crisis has left the 90210 ZIP code unscathed. There have been dozens of sales in the last three months, and inventory has remained relatively low.
What about neighboring Westwood? Well, the UCLA men’s basketball team’s No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament has given residents a lot to celebrate. Home sales, however, have suffered some setbacks. Here’s a look at ZIP code 90024:
For sale: 158
Average listing price: $892,000
Average listing square footage: 1,601
Average listing price/sq. foot: $761
Sold since 12/17/07: 42
Average sold price: $576,942
Average sold square footage: 1,578
Average sold price/sq. foot: $539
Note: Many for-sale listings from the Combined Los Angeles/Westside MLS fail to include square footage, which can skew the numbers. Also, many sellers elect to make their sales prices private, which shows up as $0 on our stats.
Nonetheless, it’s possible to draw some conclusions. Single-family home sales are small in number, but stuff is moving — the number of homes sold and listed are about equal, meaning there’s not a lot of standing inventory.
Condos, though, are another story: There are nearly four times as many condos on the market than were sold in the last three months. The average price of those sold is 35% less than the average active-listing price — $577,000 vs. $892,000 — for roughly the same square footage.
Many Westwood condo sellers who bought at the height of the market are listing their properties for more than they paid, not ready to accept that prices are no longer rising. They don’t have the money to write a check to escrow to make up the difference, so these homes, unfortunately, seem destined to become the short sales or foreclosures of tomorrow.