There seems to be growing international interest in Los Angeles’ luxury real estate market right now and asking prices have declined significantly since last year. Many prospective buyers may have only heard of the the famous communities like Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or Malibu that they are considering making their new home. This first in a series of articles is an overview of where you can find the finest properties for sale in Los Angeles.
When it comes to finding estates and luxury homes in Los Angeles, the old real estate cliche in the title holds true. While you’ll certainly find extraordinary luxury homes in all of the areas that will be discussed here, you can also find fabulous listings for these throughout the city. The art of finding great estates with an amazing compound and usable acre or more is easier to define because there are fewer of these magnificent properties and they’re usually grouped in specific areas.
There are two main areas where you’ll find the majority of Los Angeles’ exclusive residential listings. The first is a broad band that includes much of the Hollywood Hills and surrounding communities along the north end of the L.A. Basin which extends for fifteen miles from Griffith Park by Downtown, west to the Pacific Ocean. Predictably enough, the other area includes the beach cities from Malibu to Palos Verdes.
Since true estate properties require a lot of land and privacy, the largest estates are found in and around the hills from Los Feliz to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades by the beach (Malibu is in a category by itself.) These luxury properties and full-blown estates are truly the epicenter of high end real estate in Southern California and there is no shortage of the spectacular, sweeping views from Downtown to the sea that Los Angeles is known for.
Opulent properties built during Hollywood’s Golden Era in the 1920’s & 30’s line the base of the hills and lower elevations, particularly in the older parts of town to the east around Griffith Park & Hollywood. This is also true of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, and there are several charming villages dating from the period along Sunset & San Vicente Boulevards to the west in Brentwood & Pacific Palisades.
Older styles of architecture found in these areas tend towards the Spanish and Mediterranean with a lot of other traditional styles from Chateau and Tudor, to Neo-Classical and Georgian mixed in.
Newer homes and estate properties which were built from the 1940’s and 50’s up to the present tend to dominate as you move farther west and up into the hills. More Ranch homes and cleaner modern and contemporary architectural styles tend to be found here, along with a generous helping of thematic eclecticism and over-the-top excess.
Mulholland Drive runs the length of the Hollywood Hills along the crest which separates these L.A. communities to the south, from the San Fernando Valley to the north. About 75% of the land in the Hollywood Hills is south of the summit.
There are plenty of fine homes and estates north of Mulholland and in the Valley as well, but property values tend to be less in many cases and the temperature is frequently much higher in the summer. Temperature is also an issue in the L.A. Basin itself as you move away from the ocean to the east towards Downtown, while the beaches don’t usually get over 90 degrees for much of the summer.
I’ll be discussing all of these areas in more detail in upcoming articles in this series. Look for an overview of estates and luxury homes in L.A.’s Beach Cities in the next installment.
Andrew Jones is a Los Angeles native and resident of Venice Beach who is a real estate agent in both California & Nevada.