West Los Angeles Real Estate: July 2017


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Los Angeles World Class City – Ranked #1 for Investment - #1 for Tourism - #1 Period


Why Has Los Angeles Finally Emerged as the World's Most Important City

It isn’t clear why it has taken so long for Los Angeles to be seen as the crown jewel of the world’s cities. LA isn’t exactly shy. Most of the elites of the world come here to play, if not to live. Why have cities like London, Paris, NY, Hong Kong or Bejing grabbed all the attention. 

Could it be that Los Angeles is “newish,” on the world stage? Might it be that with the LA image dominated by the movie and leisure industries, it was hard to take the region seriously? Possibly the urban sprawl kept LA from having a skyline or a true downtown.

What might easier to figure out is why LA has emerged in the last decade to grab the crown. What has happened to this massive urban complex that reaches from Westlake and Simi to San Juan Capistrano and from Santa Monica to Riverside over the past 10 years is revolutionary. We aren’t alone. Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston, Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Miami are undergoing similar transformations, but LA had a huge head start and the story is just plain bigger in every dimension.

They Come to Play

Southern California has always had the rest of planet earth lapped when it comes to ways to play, and there can be no doubt that this magnate is still affecting the massive influx of business and people into the area. While the population may not be growing as fast as some cities or urban megaplexes, the issue is about space to build, cost of living, and regulations inhibiting residential construction.

What is happening is that the population influx consists of middle class and upper middle class workers in media and hi tech. The outmigration is in workers with lower paid skills fleeing to less expensive Texas and Phoenix.

It might seem obvious and boring to list them, but truly no other city has the combination of natural playgrounds like outstanding ocean beaches, mountains, forests, and deserts, combined with man-made lakes, parks, and trails for walking, running, biking, and offroading. When combined with 300 days of sunshine and temperatures averaging 70 pretty much year-round with low humidity, the play factor is unparalleled.

What has changed in the last decade about play? The facilities just keep getting better. The ocean is cleaner. Smog is basically a non-issue.

They Come to Visit

Statistics are a funny thing. Los Angeles doesn’t make the top of any lists on total tourists visiting the area. But something seems wrong with that. Anyone who has lived in SoCal for more than a few years will have noticed that the freeways are no longer empty in summer. Twenty years ago commuters looked forward to a steady thinning of the traffic starting around April and not picking back up until school started. Not anymore!

Now the freeways are packed in Summer, and not just during rush hours. It took a little digging to figure out how LA could have fewer tourists than London or Paris, but as it turns out, the race isn’t even close. Southern California sees far more tourists than any other area in the world.

The statistical issue was primarily due to Anaheim. If you look at nights stayed in Los Angeles (the city), LA is not #1 for tourists. But if you look at the region, the LA area wins, hands down. If you use other measures than nights stayed, even the city of LA will take the prize. Most who come to the region and stay in accommodations outside the city in Santa Monica, Long Beach, Anaheim, or Pasadena, visit many of the attractions in the City of Los Angeles.

They Come to Learn

A recent Schroders Global City Index 30 ranks LA as the best city in the world for investment. LA has ranked high in the past, but Schroders decided to make a minor change in the way they evaluated cities. They added educational facilities. It has become obvious that world class cities need world class universities to feed the hi tech work force in modern urban centers.

No city in the world can claim to providing a better University system than Los Angeles. With over 70 colleges and universities, and a similar number of smaller schools and local junior colleges, the availability for business to tap into these resources is immense.

They Come to Earn

A huge shift of the last decade has been the recognition by the tech companies of their need for entertainment content. The combination of this need and the need for college educated workers has turned the LA basin into a destination for major internet companies. In particular the Silicon Beach area between Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach, and 10 fwy and Wilshire Blvd corridors between Silicon Beach and Downtown LA (DTLA) have seen huge influxes of major headquarters and facilities including Google, Microsoft, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and many others.

With these have come thousands of startups to service these larger companies and their employees. The entire region has enjoyed (or not) a gentrification of old neighborhoods like Santa Monica, DTLA, Venice, and Mar Vista, into resplendent hip neighborhoods. DTLA is unrecognizable. Twenty years ago it was shabby and unwalkable. Now most of the neighborhoods in the central city are revitalized and safe to walk, even at night.

They Come to Mature

While LA has been recognized for decades as the place where new culture starts, many would also say that it was the headquarters of the vast cultural wasteland. Unsurprisingly for a city of this size, LA has had excellent museums, theater venues, and other evidences of culture. But no one would have compared Los Angeles to NY or Paris on the culture scale.
What a difference a decade or so makes. Starting with the museums, just the massive Getty undertaking alone moved LA into the running for cultural capital of the world. More recently the arts district in DTLA has added one amazing museum after another, topped by the Broad and MOCA’s Geffen, the story gets way interesting. Now add in the massive upgrades and additions to LACMA and the complete renovation of the Huntington Library. Finally, there are 100’s of smaller museums including the Getty Villa, The Pasadena Museum of California Art, and the Fowler. Almost every small city has a museum dealing with the local culture.

Then there is music. There should be no surprise that the city would venerate music, but because the city is so huge, there has never been a concentration of music venues. Even today it can be hard to search the web and find the offerings of chamber music, symphony, opera, light opera, and classical jazz that are being played all over the city. Their marketing could use some help. But the reality is that there is music everywhere if you can find it. And nowhere else can you find the number of venues offering the up and coming singers and bands. If many new talents head to Nashville or New Orleans, many more are already here or come here.

Whatever your taste in music, it is playing in LA if you take the time to track it down.

They Come to Watch

LA has always been a great sports town with UCLA basketball, USC football, and Dodgers baseball all iconic symbols of their sports. But with a new football stadium and possibly a new hockey stadium coming to Inglewood, SoCal may be able to lay claim to being the sports capital of the world.

The stadiums alone will speak to that positioning. The Rose Bowl, The Coliseum, Dodger Stadium in Chaves Ravine, The Forum, The Staples Center, and the new Ram’s stadium, not to mention Stub Hub Stadium, the Honda Center, and Angels Stadium would clearly make the Southland the metro area with the most major stadiums in the world.

With two Major League teams in baseball, basketball, football, and hockey, LA ties NYC for the most franchises, but when you add USC and UCLA as there is no doubt that Los Angeles gets the overall crown. Soccer? LA will have two teams as of 2018.

They Come to Complain

So what would keep LA from the top slot of cities anywhere on earth? The traffic? Have you tried to drive in NYC or London? The prices? LA is still cheaper than any of the other world class cities. The Crime? It is a little known fact, but current crime levels in Los Angeles are similar to the 1950’s.

The biggest issue – there are just too many people. This reminds one of the Yogi Berra quip – “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

Investment Opportunities

As noted above, LA is ranked as the number one city in the world for investment. If you are considering buying a home, condo, duplex, small apartment building, or any other type of residential real estate in theLos Angeles area, you will need an experienced and knowledgeable realtor to help you find the perfect property, then help you with negotiations and all the paper work.

Belle Tsai is the perfect choice. She has been actively dealing with West Los Angeles real estate issues for her entire adult life. Call Belle today at 310.738,7118

Belle Tsai - Sotheby's International Realty
15308 Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades CA. 90272
CalBRE# 01841341
SIR CalBRE# 899496