Small but mighty: Westwood is seeing record house sales in 2016

Since the start of the year, nabe has seen a series of $4M single-family home sales

Jun.June 02, 2016 01:00 PM

There are some “woods” that come to mind for uber-posh homes. Brentwood. Beverlywood. Hollywood…Hills.But lately, another -wood, home to UCLA and the Hammer Museum, is seeing some luxury pricing.

So far this year, there have been five sales of new or extensively remodeled single-family homes in the Westwood submarket. Two sales are pending sales and there are more than a dozen active listings—all of which are in the $4 million or more range.

“Twelve months ago, the idea of selling a home for upwards of $4 million between Wilshire/Santa Monica/Westwood and the L.A. Country Club was unheard of,” says David Berg of Partners Trust, a Beverly Hill-based firm with several active listings in Westwood.

However, that was before neighborhood demand, coupled with desirable construction, led to a couple of watershed sales that set the market on a new course.

In August 2015, a newly constructed five-bedroom, 4,800-square-foot home at 1411 Woodruff Avenue sold for $3.8 million. The home, which Berg refers to as a “Marmol Radziner-designed gem” garnered $935 per square foot.

Marmol Radziner is a Los Angeles-based design-build firm founded in 1989 by architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner. Its previous clients have included Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Tom Ford and other notables. In other words, not what you would expect to find in Westwood, where a lot of housing, by virtue of UCLA’s presence, is rented by students.

Then, in April, a new 3,861-square-foot Cape Cod-style house at 10469 Kinnard Avenue sold for $3.5 million, or $900 a square foot. It was the highest price-per-square-foot transaction among similar homes in recent history, Berg said.

“Westwood has all of the key ingredients of a prime neighborhood that attracts professionals and families,” Berg says. “Its proximity to Beverly Hills and Century City make it an aspirational location to live.”

Westwood has one of the highest population densities in L.A. County, averaging more than 13,000 people per square mile. It’s also one of L.A.’s youngest submarkets, with a median age of 27, thanks in large part to the University.

Berg, who lives in the neighborhood, said it’s known to have a good elementary school, which adds to the submarket’s allure for young families.

To take advantage of demand, new home construction is increasing in Westwood.

“There are five homes presently in various stages of construction that will be for sale anytime from the next few days to the next 12 months,” Berg said. “There are several others being built for owner-users.”

Of the five being built, Berg’s firm, Partners Trust, has listings for 10551 Eastborne Avenue, which is a modern home, and 10527 Rochester Avenue, which will be a Cape Cod-style traditional.

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