Just in case you missed it The Daily Breeze noted that the average home price in the South Bay topped $1.1 million… This is no surprise to folks thinking about buying a home in the South Bay. Beach Cities. Buyers looking for a home in any South Bay city are getting hit with sticker shock. If you are looking at property in the Beach Cities make that double sticker shock!
A single family starter home in Manhattan Beach is going to be about $1.3, Hermosa prices are about $1.1 M (although once in a while you can find a tear down slightly less). North Redondo still has a few homes in the $800,000’s as does El Segundo. Prices in Hawthorne, Lawndale, and Gardena are a bit lower but certainly higher than many people expect. If you are looking for a property in a relatively good neighborhood under $600,000 then the South Bay is almost out of reach
Townhomes and condos are the best options for an affordable place to live in the South Bay. I know most of us who grew up in California think we have to have a single family home but Townhomes and condos are a terrific alternative. Most lots in the South Bay are not very large so you may have almost as much outdoor space in a newer townhome than an older single family. These are our “affordable” homes. Many of them feel like a single family home. In Redondo, most of the new townhomes have private yards and are very spacious. Resale value is excellent.
If you currently own a home in the South Bay rising home prices are great! If you are trying to buy a home in the South Bay your perspective is a bit different. The culprit is once again low inventory levels. We just haven’t built enough housing to meet local needs. Unfortunately, I don’t see this changing in the near future. Finding a large parcel of land to build homes on is almost impossible. The Beach Cities have been built out for years. Other South Bay Cities are also reaching the place where there is little vacant land for homes.
The land that is available isn’t necessarily considered a “prime” location. Most parcels in “prime” location have neighbors who don’t want more housing. NIMBY is alive and thriving in our local cities. Whether it’s a grocery store, new townhomes or apartments; a large number of folks are outraged at the prospect of change. I’ve lived here since 1969 and have seen a lot of changes over the years. Truthfully adding a few more homes won’t make that much difference at this point… traffic is already bumper-bumper.
How many new homes can you add in one place.. a hundred if you are fortunate? We are not talking 10,000 new homes, Although we could use a thousand to relieve the lack of housing in the area. That will never happen as there just isn’t enough space to build a large number of homes or apartments. so what is the answer? Take a look at downtown L.A. There is some smart building going on in downtown. High-density housing near transit centers with shopping within walking distance. A novel idea but one we should be considering if affordable housing is something folks would like to have available.
Realistically most folks can’t afford a 4000 sqft foot home with fabulous ocean view on a Manhattan Beach walk street. The days of finding a cute little inexpensive beach cottage are gone. The house is worth nothing.. the value is in the land and the future potential. So if you don’t have $3 or $4 million in the bank you need other options.
I am working with the children of many friends and clients who want to live in the same area where they grew up and they don’t have many options. It would be great to see some creative thinking on the part of local residents instead of “NO, No, NO”. Parks are nice but you need places for folks to live so why not try and figure a way to make them work together. New homes and green space should not be mutually exclusive.
Have questions? Please feel free to call or e-mail me.