Anyone who knows me knows that I have remained unabashedly optimistic about the resilience of the luxury market in Greater Los Angeles over the last few years. For those of you who think I’m only painting a positive picture because I bear the Coldwell Banker Previews name on my business card, I can honestly say that my viewpoint is based on the facts and the sales reports I see come across my desk on nearly a daily basis. Today, my position remains unchanged.
The upper end of the market continues to boom on the Westside of Los Angeles, with 29 pending sales of properties priced $5 million and above, seven sales of properties priced $10 million and above and two properties in excess of $20 million. To date, 13 properties have closed escrow at a price in excess of $5 million, compared to only ten at the same time last year. When I look at Coldwell Banker Previews’ closed escrows of properties over $2 million, we have also seen a 17.8% increase in January sales volume since 2011.
Clearly, the affluent buyer is seeing value in the investment of Los Angeles real estate today. Interest rates remain extremely attractive; prices have adjusted over the high sales figures of 2007; and many still regard real estate as a more preferable investment to the stock market. After all, who doesn’t want to own a gorgeous home in Southern California, where we are currently enjoying one of our warmest, most pleasant winters on record?
“Westside residential real estate provides them with a fabulous lifestyle while continuing to be the best possible long-term investment,” said Joyce Rey, a Beverly Hills luxury home specialist and Executive Director of Coldwell Banker Previews International. “We have the best weather, incredible cultural opportunities here, and fabulous estates that give them privacy and elegance. We are very optimistic about the future of the 2012 high-end estate marketplace.”
When I look at what is happening abroad, there is also some exciting movement in the upper echelons. Coldwell Banker Previews’ international presence is growing and responding to the influx of Asian buyers entering the Southern California luxury space, with 95 offices already in China alone. (Globally, Coldwell Banker Previews has nearly 87,000 sales professionals in 3,200 offices in 49 countries around the world.) From Eastern to Western shores, our strong global presence has not only solidified our standing in the luxury real estate world, but shows the extensive investment we have made in reaching high net worth buyers all over the world. Call me optimistic, but I believe luxury buyers and sellers have much to look forward to in 2012. When they are ready to enter the market, our knowledgeable and well-networked Previews agents are here, ready to assist them with their next dream home.