What do $350 million homes, reality TV, Chinese capital controls and affordable-housing challenges have in common?
They were among the hot topics at The Real Deal’s first-ever Los Angeles real estate showcase and forum, which drew over 400 residential and commercial professionals to Downtown L.A. on Thursday
Kicking things off was a star-studded residential panel, featuring Jade Mills, Aaron Kirman, Mauricio Umansky, Kofi Nartey, Ben Bacal and Michael Nourmand. The brokers discussed the impact of sales such as the $100 million Playboy Mansion deal have on the market, and how to deal with buyer’s pricing expectations, which have continued to inch skyward since that record transaction.
Nourmand said he’d rather lose a listing in the short term than “credibility” in the long term by refusing to list a house for an unreasonable price. Kirman offered a counterpoint, saying listings like the $350 million Chartwell estate, which are quick to make national headlines, have given L.A. agents greater exposure to the world’s wealthiest.
“One of the reasons [L.A. is] the preeminent luxury market is because we [priced high],” he said. “We have a lot of cocky developers and a lot of cocky agents. Media now really follows the L.A. marketplace.”
Next up was a status update on L.A.’s commercial market, featuring Carl Muhlstein, Beatrice Hsu, Chris Rising and Stephen Silk.
Hsu said that amenities that were formerly considered a “luxury” are now expected in all multifamily developments.
“There’s a higher expectation to the level of finish,” she said.
Rising said the same is true for office tenants.
“Gone are the days when you buy something and someone is going to come along and take it as is,” he said.
“God, I miss those days,” Muhlstein said.
Silk addressed China’s recent clampdown on institutional capital flowing overseas, something he said might be eased after China’s upcoming elections.
This wouldn’t be a real estate event without the schmoozing, of course, which took place everywhere: in the aisles, in the buffet line, even as panelist exited onto a street bustling with Downtown construction.