The Real Deal Los Angeles

With mounting inventory, sales and leases are slowing in DTLA: report

The number of condo and loft sales dipped 20 percent from 2017
By Natalie Hoberman | January 22, 2019 05:00PM

Downtown LA skyline (Getty)

As a majority of the country begins to see signs of a looming housing correction, a slow down is beginning to creep through Downtown Los Angeles, where a construction boom has given way to a glut of housing units.

Condo and loft sales in Downtown L.A. dipped 20 percent in 2018 to 294 units sold, according to a new report from Loftway, a brokerage specializing in loft sales and leases. That’s down from 353 in 2017, which marked a 40 percent hike from 2016.

The number of leases signed also dropped about 7 percent to 410. About a third of the buildings in the market experienced a drop in rents.

Loftway’s report is based on listings reported in the Multiple Listing Service. Sales completed in-house or off-market may not be reflected in the data.

It’s also taking longer to move properties off the market. It took an average of 55 days to sell a unit and 42 days to lease in 2018. Still, that’s a bit better than other major cities like Miami or New York City, where homes went unsold for 84 and 74 days, respectively, according to a survey by Re/Max.

Despite a dip in sales, the price for a unit in Downtown L.A. continued to climb. The average price per square foot was about $714 in 2018, up 2.4 percent from $697 per square foot in 2017.

Condos at Greenland USA’s Metropolis Tower 1 commanded the highest prices at about $1,131 per square foot. Six units sold at the building last year, according to Loftway.

Meanwhile, the Santee Cornell Lofts in the Fashion District saw the greatest jump in prices. Two units at the property sold at an average of $770 per square foot, up 18.7 percent from the year prior.

Perhaps the biggest indicator of a pause in the market could be seen in the most expensive sale of the year. In 2018, a condo unit at the EVO South high-rise on Grand Avenue claimed the biggest deal at $4 million. That’s a substantial drop from 2017, when a unit at the Ritz Residences at L.A. Live sold for $9.13 million.