Los Angeles County Is Home to the Most Expensive Markets in the US

Los Angeles County is home to the largest number of expensive markets in the country. A new survey from Yardi’s Property Shark analyzed the most expensive zip codes in terms of residential transactions, and ranked the top 100. Los Angeles had 23 zip codes on the list, the highest concentration of any individual market.

“Los Angeles County has traditionally had a larger presence on this ranking than other counties—even New York—due to the area’s long-term desirability, especially among high-income buyers, its economic power and the types of industries it relies on and continues to attract, and its ongoing housing shortage. This combination of factors continues to intensify, leading to a faster-paced price growth than other areas of the country,” Eliza Theiss of Property Shark, tells GlobeSt.com.

Despite the pandemic, Los Angeles County continued to see a high cost of housing. Los Angeles even added two additional zip codes this year compared to last year’s survey. “Much of L.A. County’s median sale price growth during 2020 was fueled by a shift in the type of properties traded,” says Theiss. “Specifically, demand for single-family homes declined less sharp rate this year than demand for condos—that shift in the mix of properties sold paired the higher price point traditionally commanded by single-family had a noticeable impact in increasing the county’s presence among the country’s most expensive zips.” Those include 90402 and 90210, which have a median home price of $3.75 million, ranking the two markets third in the country.

Condo sales decreased more than single-family homes sales, but both markets saw a similar decline with condos down 31% and single-family home sales down 28%, according to Theiss. However, condo pricing remained unchanged but single-family home pricing increased 9.4% in the market year-over-year. “When looking at the 23 L.A. County zips that rank among the 100 most expensive, that shift in the property mix being traded is even more pronounced,” adds Theiss. “Specifically, condo sales in the county’s 23 priciest zips dropped 29% Y-o-Y, while single family sales activity came in just 17% below the same period last year. Moreover, the median sale price for condos in the county’s top 23 zips registered a slight .5% contraction, while the median sale price for single-family in these exclusive zips went up 6.25%.”

During the pandemic, L.A.’s lack of density actually worked in its favor, particularly compared to dense markets like New York. “The urban environment of L.A. County presented an advantage over its closest non-California rival: New York,” says Theiss. “L.A. and L.A. County are defined by urban sprawl, a car-centric transportation model and a much higher ratio of single-family detached homes versus stacked, multi-unit living, whereas NYC is a highly dense, vertical city, with tightly packed high-rises/multi-story residential properties and a mass transit reliant transportation model.”