Lake Balboa: Navigating a Housing Recovery?

Designated simply as West Van Nuys until it was formally recognized by the city of Los Angeles last year, the namesake of the area known as Lake Balboa is an artificial lake in a sprawling, scenic recreational park that attracts residents to picnic and play, stroll and relax.  The lake itself was created from farmland during the last real estate bust in the early ’90s, when land values had bottomed out.  Then the area was lifted along with the rest of the region as prices rose dramatically through the first half of this decade.

Now Lake Balboa housing values are seeing the same declines as surrounding Valley areas.  But while prices are down – about 25% year over year – sales activity has been remarkably robust:  in the last three months there have been close to 120 sales recorded, all but two of them single-family residences (it’s likely a lot of these sales are on the backs of foreclosures).  

Just as remarkable, sellers’ median asking prices are less than 2% higher than actual median sales prices in the last 90 days.  It would seem that Lake Balboa sellers are more realistic and less inflexible on price than sellers in other parts of the region, which is what makes home sales possible.  This is a model for accelerating the recovery of the entire housing market.

6901 Louise Ave.
Lake Balboa, CA  91406
Price:  $539,900

A bank-owned REO with only one day on the market.  This big, appealing four-bedroom, three-bath ranch home has close to 2,500 sq. ft. on a quarter-acre lot, and a lovely pool and patio.  Needs plenty of fix-up and updating, but at just $217 sq. ft., this may be worth a look.

6442 Whitman Ave.
Van Nuys – West, CA 91406
Price: $469,000

A charming and updated 3 + 2 traditional; just five days on the market.  The listing agent acknowledges the owners will be taking a loss since the purchase price in 2006 was $560,000, but claims it’s NOT a short sale.  Still, at $431 sq. ft., I’d say there’s room for negotiation.

7042 Louise Ave
Van Nuys – West, CA 91406
Price: $399,900

Bank-owned and broker-listed 24 days.  Nice curb appeal; this is a traditional 3 + 2 with hardwood floors and 1,800 sq. ft. interior on a spacious 7,200 sq. ft. lot.   At $220 sq. ft. it may be nearing an attractive price:  recent nearby sales comps average $316 sq. ft.

  • Marcy

    Urk. That first place needs to be gutted and completely remodeled. Right now, it’s overpriced, even for the square footage. I live in Granada Hills, btw. Been keeping a hawk’s eye on Northridge and GH properties and prices. I did spy a place in old GH (17430 San Fernando Mission Boulevard) that just hit the market, that actually is priced RIGHT. It won’t last at 459.5k, and over 16,000 square foot lot. It too needs updating, but not like that Lake Balboa property.