A Look at Westwood Home Sales

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:

Single-Family Homesucla-collison.jpg
For sale:  19
Average listing price: $2,149,000
Average listing square footage: 3,674
Average listing price/sq. foot: $401

Sold since 12/17/07: 17
Average sold price:  $2,875,000
Average sold square footage: 3,299
Average sold price/sq. foot:  $858

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. 

  • curious

    How do sellers make their sales price private?

    As a buyer, can I make my purchase price private as well?

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Curious, there is some kind of paperwork that gets filled out during escrow that keeps the sales price from showing up on public records. Ask your agent or escrow officer how to do it.

  • BlogReader

    So to avoid comps, in this tight market, all seller’s agents would “recommend” their clients to mark their sales price as private. Would that be ethical? Would that be legal?

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Blog Reader, my understanding is that information is available to agents, just not to the general public. Is there an agent out there who can confirm this?

  • BlogReader

    So as you mentioned in your post, this information would not be available to services such as the Redfin website. Would this not hinder a person’s ability to do his homework?

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    BlogReader, because that information was made private, it won’t show up on Redfin. So that does limit your online searching ability. You can judge by the comps that ARE there, of course. But if you were serious about buying, you might want to visit Propertyshark.com or have an agent run comps for you.

  • http://westwoodmarket.blogspot.com Scott

    Hi Cindy and blogreaders,

    Cindy, you asked about sellers making the sale private. As of the end of last year, the westside MLS, no longer allows sellers to report $0 as the price. It is mandatory to release the sales price. Before you could pay a small fine to keep it private, but this is no longer allowed. This happened more in high priced listings.

    Westwood single family homes are flying off the shelf in the 90025 & 90064 sections of Westwood. Where a majority of the listings are located. At 2337 Camden Avenue there was 11+ offers last week. There were 4 houses on Camden for sale, all within 2 blocks of each other. 3 of them are now in escrow after a week or so of being on the market. A majority of the homes priced from $1.5 and lower are selling in about 1-2 weeks on average.

    If you want more information about Westwood in particular, I have started a blog about the Westwood market. I will be doing property reviews, inventory updates, market information, etc.. Its at http://westwoodmarket.blogspot.com.

    Keep up the good work Cindy!

  • http://www.scott-mcintosh.com Scott McIntosh

    Its supposed to be http://westwood.blogspot.com … Not sure why link in other post didn’t work. Or you can click on my name.

  • http://www.scott-mcintosh.com Scott McIntosh

    Lol.. now im just messing up .. its http://westwoodmarket.blogspot.com .

  • http://westwoodmarket.blogspot.com Scott McIntosh

    Additionally, I wanted to make a comment on the condo market. You are right about the condo market being a little soft. The number of sales are down from last year. You also have to be careful about looking at the median prices. Because you have two different markets in Westwood. You have the Wilshire Corridor, which will have higher numbers for price per square foot, then the rest of the Westwood condo market.

    Year-to-date condo stats for all of Westwood are as follows.

    2008 Sales Volume through the end of Feb 08 – $37,688,500 vs. Feb 07 – $72,846,914. So its almost 50% less sales in volume over last years ytd. BUT, lets look at median price. Feb 08 ytd – $747,500 vs. Feb 07 ytd $733,187. Price is up a few percent.

    Again, the main message here is not doom and gloom here on the ‘Westside’. The news reports the blood and the doom. We must remember that real estate is local and that it is important to work with a knowledgable agent you can tell you whats going on in a particular market.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Thank you, Scott, for the great information. And thanks for telling me that CLAW no longer allows concealing of the sales price; that’s a good thing. We still have a number of 2008 sales that say $0 on Redfin, and we’re not sure why, so we’re checking into it. Thanks again.

  • Dave

    Hardly surprising to see good news from Scott, since he’s a realtor.

    Why not be upfront and tell us that’s your job?

  • http://westwoodmarket.blogspot.com Scott McIntosh

    Hi Dave,

    I apologize if you thought I was trying to mislead you by not announcing that I was an agent. I have disclosed many times on previous posts that I am an agent. I have nothing to hide nor was I trying to. Additionally, you can click on my name in my posts or on my blog url in my previous post to get further information about me.
    Regarding the information I mentioned in this post or have posted in the past, I thought it would be beneficial to have some actual facts about what’s going on in this particular neighborhood that’s being discussed, Westwood. What I present are the facts. You can make your own opinions or assumptions about them, but the truth remains that the market has been very busy in Westwood. I’m not sure how you can say with a straight face that the market is not strong in Westwood when there have been several homes going multiple offers in the past few weeks, as well as homes selling in the first few weeks of being listed. I had a listing on Tennessee that sold on the very first open house in the beginning of February at full price. A listing a block down from my listing came on the market just after mine was listed and sold the first open house as well with a few offers. A listing around the corner from mine on Kerwood came on shortly after that and sold before the first open house with an offer and a backup offer in place. I can go on and on about 15 other homes that have gone into escrow like that in the past 4 weeks. Now if that is not a hot or healthy market, then I don’t know what is. The average days on market for sold properties are approximately 25 days. Right now there are 28 homes currently in escrow in Westwood and 37 total active properties.
    So I’m sorry to have to report conflicting information as to what the media reports on a daily basis, but these are the facts. And Westwood isn’t the only neighborhood on the Westside that is seeing this kind of activity. I hear and see on a daily basis other communities such as Cheviot Hills, Brentwood, Mar Vista, and Beverly Hills with similar activity. The national market may not be doing as great as a whole, but again I must repeat that real estate is local. There are many neighborhoods, cities, regions where the market is actually quite strong across the country.
    Now I can’t predict the future and tell you what Westwood will be like in 2 months, 6 months or a year from now. But all I can do is report about what’s happening now. And right now the market here is very healthy.
    If you have any questions, I would be happy to attempt at answering them. Thanks for your time.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Scott, I agree that you’ve been upfront about the fact that you’re an agent. I have no problem with what you’ve posted; in fact, I appreciate the information. The data I’ve posted recently on Westwood don’t dispute what you say. You said that condo sales were soft and home sales were brisk, which is what I found when I ran the numbers. This blog is founded on honest observations about the market; the readers of this blog expect that, and if they sense someone has an agenda, they’ll tune it out. So anyone who provides honest info that helps consumers is welcome to post. Scott, I look forward to hearing more from you.

  • Pingback: Westwood Condo Market Getting Softer | Redfin Los Angeles Sweet Digs

  • Pingback: texas holdem probabilit

  • Sam Stone

    Hi Cindy,

    Great post. Can you make any predictions for the westwood housing market in 2009?