The Venice Real-Estate Market is Unstoppable No More – WSJ
The property Jordan Mazer bought in December is the classic Venice beach house in more ways than one.
The $2.225 million clapboard house is close enough to a local surf break that Mr. Mazer, a 33-year-old human-resources executive for a videogame company, can run to it with his surfboard tucked under his arm. Another thing that makes his property emblematic of the neighborhood: He paid $213,000 less than the buyer in 2018, and $450,000 less than the buyer in 2016. The home, for which he paid over $1,000 a square foot, is near the beach but also near the Venice boardwalk, where scores of homeless people are now living.
The property market in Venice, once a working-class community that experienced an extraordinary run-up in prices from 2012 through 2019, is taking a pause. From 2012 to 2019, prices grew by an average of about 17% a year in Venice, vastly outpacing price growth in the rest of Los Angeles, according to an analysis by real-estate website Zillow. Those trends reversed in July, when price growth across Los Angeles began to outpace price growth in Venice. Throughout the pandemic, while area home prices rose in neighborhoods such as Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and the beaches of Malibu, homes over $3 million in Venice have been a tougher sell, local agents say.
Price paid per-square-foot for a single-family home in Venice dropped by 5.7% in 2020, compared with the year prior, according to the Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal company Miller Samuel and the author of the Elliman report, a market study. By contrast, per-square-foot prices for single-family homes in upscale parts of the Greater Los Angeles area showed an increase of 3.2%, he said.
Inventory has also grown in Venice. There were 43.2% more single-family homes on the market in 2020 than there were the year prior, according to the report. Some agents blame the shift on pandemic buyers looking for larger homes outside of Venice. Juliette Hohnen, an agent with Douglas Elliman, said that Venice’s draw has long been its urban-style living, cool stores and restaurants, all hard hit by the pandemic. That has prodded some residents to abscond to the suburban ambience of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Topanga Canyon, she said.
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