Is Highland Park's Real Estate Boom Overrated?

Our local newspaper of record thinks hipsters and gentrifiers are abandoning Echo Park and Silver Lake for Highland Park.

Sunday's Los Angeles Times posited this opinion: Homebuyers are abandoning the ever pricier precincts of Echo Park and Silver Lake in favor of more affordable Highland Park and its environs.

Attracted by an abundance of foreclosures and aided by interest rates near record lows, renovators are giving distressed properties a makeover. They're then reselling them to young professionals priced out of nearby Echo Park and Silver Lake, who are finding Highland Park's bike lanes, Metro Gold Line stop and sidewalk culture a welcome respite from the automobile.

The full story is here on the Times’ website. 

Are home buyers really rushing to Highland Park?

According to the real estate trend tracking website Trulia.com, the buying boom in Highland Park isn't reflected by the data.

The median sales price of Highland Park homes has actually dipped by $10,000 to $285,000 compared to this time last year. However, that number did rebound from a drop to $272,000 between September-November of 2012.

Sales are down as well, according to Trulia, from 41 in February of 2011 to 25 last month.

What the Times keenly notes, however, is 29.1 percent of homes purchased in the final quarter of fiscal year 2011 were bought be absentee buyers--investors.

So, are we truly dealing with a major real estate boom in Highland Park, or a concerted effort by flippers to spur gentrification by snatching up large quantities of Highland Park's vaunted Craftsman and Victorian housing inventory?

This isn’t the first time the Times has opined on the growing gentrification of Highland Park.

In both cases, we think the Times is generally accurate in their observations of Highland Park, but perhaps a little slow with trend-tracking.

The influx of galleries and design shops on York Boulevard is nothing new, and in fact, was reported by the New York Times in 2009.

According to Trulia, the post-crash peak of home sales in Highland Park homes actually occurred in January of 2010.

Is Highland Park changing, of course. However, that evolution is subject to its own peaks and valleys, and numbers show that the cultural changes occurring on York Boulevard don't correlate to any dramatic surge in home sales.

Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 06:20 AM
I tend to agree with Fonseca. HP real estate has no real data to back up the hype. NY Times articles on Highland Park? Huh?? Sounds like a plan to reel in investors for a shot of adrenaline to the area ...paid advertising ala RealtyTrac types, just like they blast us with ads on our browser's home page. Starving realtors will continue to buy tuna and noodles in 2012. That is my prediction. Our home sold to a young eastern couple who are not around, says my neighbor. Since they are absentee, the place has run down, plants dying from lack of water, ... Ghettos are not race-specific, BTW. As to where displaced homeowners are going is anyone's guess. My guess is that they are moving in with each other to survive! That is a real shame.
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Seems like most people are still oblivious to the fact they are getting robbed by the banks and the government. Banks are bundling their inventories of homes and selling them to large investors...just like they did with our loans! One investor may be the Federal Government itself. Is that what you want, folks? Government housing? They mow down entire blocks because the homes go to pot. 60 Minutes showed that in Ohio about a year ago. The main point -- EVERYONE is affected by these heinous acts. The economy is raped by deliberate manipulation & people lose jobs as a result. We should all be outraged, not just homeowners. Student loans and credit cards are next. Those have been securitized and sold on Wall Street, too! Time for real change! Move your $$ to small banks & CU's and break up the stronghold of corporate mega-banks. You'd be shocked at how much your taxpayer money is going offshore and to pay for wars and whatnot. That money could be used right here and should be, to keep our economy and our families stable. There is plenty of money to go around. But they would rather have us live in poverty-stricken states of mind. Folks. Get on youtube or wherever and educate yourselves. Watch the film: Thrive We can liberate ourselves from the slave mentality by learning the truth of how the world operates, the junk foods they feed us, the slanted media, the drugs, pollution, that keep us all sick and dependent on the system. Brace yourselves... BIG changes are on the way!
Carl Showalter April 26, 2012 at 03:13 PM
What you thought all that easy debt would last forever? Grow up and watch your own finances.
marco ramirez September 27, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Of course when there is companies like Housing America Realty buying homes and evicting our family from 4947 marmion way and 2 months later they fix the home and making lots of profit from our family lost of course they driving the housing market higher for no reason just for them to get rich When they evicted us from our home My mother was crying my sisters and they were laughing about it .they only speak spanish because they could not even speak english. well our family already have another home in fontana we love our new home. Marco Ramirez.
Armez March 04, 2013 at 12:30 AM
It is true that there are longtime homeowning Latino family's that are selling their homes because they can make a profit right now on their years of investment. I know a brave Latino family who sold their home in Garvanza, north of Meridian near Ave 63, who were excited to leave further east to Rancho Cucamonga where life seemed more attractive. New home buyers in the area seem to want to live near downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Westside to be close to their social haunts. Choices to move out of Highland Park area are driven by the lifestyle one wants to live and the place people want to be associated with. I also realize that renters are being evicted because owners feel they need to cash-in on their investments by selling now, also. Yes, some families will be displaced while others will be capable of owning in order to repair and restore homes that have needed such care for decades. And for some it will be home. It works out in the end.


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