“I price it like it is art”: Calculating the value of a good view

Expert says price can be determined by assigning value per inch of views from various rooms

900 Stradella Road (Credit: The Agency)
900 Stradella Road (Credit: The Agency)

How much is a good view worth? A survey of prices from around Los Angeles shows that’s not such an easy question to answer, at least depending on who you ask.

For some brokers and developers, there’s no way to put a price on stellar sight lines, according to a Hollywood Reporter feature examining view pricing.

The report found some indication of pricing differences using Zillow’s Zestimate feature, which doesn’t explicitly take into account views but does reflect differences in value between homes with desirable views and those without.

For example, a three-bedroom home on Stradella Road in Bel Air with a canyon view had a 25 percent higher price than a comparable home less than a mile away with a view of the city. Additionally, a pair of neighboring three-bedroom units in the Hollywood Hills — one with a southern-facing view and the other blocked by hedges — had a 4 percent price difference.

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UCLA Associate Professor of Urban Planning Paavo Monkkonen thinks that the price could be calculated by assigning a value per inch of view from various rooms in a home, citing a study that did so in Hong Kong.

In practice, however, pricing seems more subjective.

Malibu developer Scott Gillen — who is building five homes on a bluffside tract in Malibu, all set for prices between $40 to 60 million — said he prices a property “like it is art. It either gets you or it doesn’t.”

The Agency’s David Parnes, who together with his partner James Harris slapped a $45 million price tag on a Bel Air home with an unparalleled 280-degree view, said it really depends on how much the potential buyer values the perch.

“That’s when emotion comes into play,” Parnes said. “And there is a huge link between value and emotional provocation.” [Hollywood Reporter] — Dennis Lynch