Eastside Property: Echo Park sellers seek to relive the real estate boom years

Photo from Redfin.com

Despite reports of multiple offers and bidding wars in some neighborhoods, it’s relatively rare for home sales prices to exceed the record levels set more than five years ago after the last real estate boom was going bust. But there is apparently one Echo Park home seller who is going to try and beat the last round of peak prices. The three-bedroom, nearly century-old Craftsman-style home at 2412 Echo Park Avenue recently went on the market at an asking price of $879,000, according to Redfin. That’s $78,000 more than what the house in the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park sold for in February 2005. Will two fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and marble kitchen counters justify a new peak price?

To give you an idea of how far prices have to climb to reach the old peak prices , just review the monthly median sales prices recorded by DataQuick. Last May,  the median sales price in Los Angeles was $320,000. In Dec. 2006, the Los Angeles median was  $522,000.


  1. People are crazy, and so are these people. You quote the median sales price for Los Angeles. More specifically, the median sales price in 90026 — at least half of which is actually Silver Lake including the hills there, is around the $475,000-$500,000 level, according to the monthly numbers published in the Los Angeles Times. But don’t expect the real estate agent to tell you that — both the selling agent AND the buyers agent make money according to how much money they can get the buyer to hand over, a severe conflict of interest for the buyer.

    While this house is fine, it is not so outstanding as to justify much other than the median price, or just a little more maybe. Most of the houses being sold in Elysian Heights also are fine.

    Frankly, even the median of up to $500,000 is way too high — every place else has fallen in price a LOT more than that.

    For that $879,000 price, one can go to a far, far better neighborhood, a much better location.

    Perhaps this house is being used as what real estate agents call a “setup” house, or “pinball” house — intentionally listed at a very high price in order to be used to point buyers to in order to scare them into overpaying for some other lesser priced house they are now convinced is underpriced, even as it actually is also overpriced. See a story in the Los Angeles Times about these tactics:


    Don’t let listing prices affect the price you will pay — pay more attention to actual sales prices. And even then, don’t pay much attention to the one or two where the buyer overpaid, look at the overall figures for the area over several months.

    • They’ll get asking or close to it. The real estate market is HOT in Echo Park. Stop trying to present yourself as some sort of expert. It reeks of jealousy.

      • Noooo,
        Beanteam, not jealousy, just honesty.
        I don’t think he sounds like a wannabe expert, just a realistic person who is thinking what every other prospective buyer in Echo Park is thinking.
        What sane person would spend almost a million dollars to buy a house where there are gang shootings blocks away on a regular basis?
        Maybe people with rich parents and no value for hard earned money……..

  2. I disagree, Mark.

    This a big, beautiful house on the best stretch of Echo Park Ave. Redfin reports that the average price per sq. foot of houses sold in 90026 last month was $359. This house is on the market at $401/sq. foot — above the average, but commensurate with the high quality of the property.

    Will the price come down? Most likely. Will it come down dramatically? I don’t think so.

    What’s more, the sale-to-list ratio in 90026 was 105% last month. That means that homes sold an average of 5% above list price!

    Echo Park real estate is coming back!

    (And for the record, I’m not a realtor, nor do I have any connection to this property. I just learned about it reading this post and decided to do a little research.)

  3. According to the “Property History” tab on the MLS listing, here’s the recent sales history for this house:

    10-2-01: Sold for $162,500
    6-4-02: Sold for $407,000
    2-4-05: Sold for $801,000

    The online Department of Building and Safety records show only one permit pulled since 2001, for re-roofing and shearing:

    People are welcome to buy wherever they please, and I don’t feel remotely sorry for anyone who has the scratch to buy this house, but if I were searching for a home in that price range, I’d be looking in the Silver Lake (90039) hills or as far north as I could get in Los Feliz (90027). That amount of money will probably put you north of Franklin, or perhaps even north of Los Feliz Blvd.

  4. nice enough house, but you better be hard of hearing or love the sound of the 5 to live here, plus one wrong step and you will probably fall ONTO the 5!

  5. The other thing that bears saying is that this site (which I love) is fueling all the real estate rage with it’s new adds! I know a guy’s gotta make a living, but an article about over priced real estate right next to an ad for about 20 over priced properties is a little confounding…..

    • Absolutely so! This has been a long-running approach of this Website.

    • Look at it this way — This site exists (in its current free form) in part due to the ads those real-estate agents place. It might not be ideal, but I don’t find the ads obtrusive at all, except for the sponsored posts – though those are always very clearly marked. In a similar vein, the L.A. Weekly probably would have folded years ago if it weren’t for all the happy-ending-massage and strip-club ads at the rear of the paper.

      • The publisher was a writer for the LA Times business section where real estate was his beat for many years. Lucky readers get his expertise for free here on the Eastsider LA. As a homeowner in EP, his links to new listings interest me greatly.

        I find this website full of variety with many different subjects posted on a daily basis. I also see ads for art, dog care and restaurants, not just real estate.

  6. I have to echo JC. I don’t see any craftsman details. Whatever craftsman details it may have had , have been destroyed. That price per square foot is very high. For that, I would expect to get a great yard and pool.

  7. Real Estate Agents are like used car salesmen, “If you are willing to drive it off the lot today……..” I recall way back in their gravy days of 2002/2003. One agent created a bidding frenzy by showing a property in Highland Park for only one hour at night, scores of people showed up and the agent got what they wanted, multiple offers of people trying to outbid each other. I am not exactly sure what they do to get a 6 percent commission from the seller, but what do I know, I am a renter (by choice) and darn proud of it.

    • Just because many real-estate agents are sleazy doesn’t mean that you should stay a renter.

    • …and landlords like me love you for it!

    • I grew up in these neighborhoods (1960s-1980s), but I would never rent/buy there today. It is like watching a boat take on water, until it is just a reef. Unrecognizeable.

      • There are still good deals in other parts of the city, though not so many in Echo Park/Silver Lake/Atwater Village/Highland Park/Eagle Rock unless it’s an all-cash, fixer-upper property. In my opinion, prospective home buyers who want a good deal in the area should consider El Sereno (90032), East Hollywood (90029), and the 90004 zip code (I don’t know what the area is called). Lincoln Heights (90031) has good deals but the area is too rough, in my opinion, as is Boyle Heights (90063 and 90023), unless you already know the areas and are comfortable with them. Another area I recommend, if you don’t mind driving a bit, is Sunland/Tujunga (I don’t know the zip codes offhand). La Crescenta also has some reasonable listings (i.e., $350,000-400,000), and you’d be in the Glendale school district.

        • Hi James, Thanks for the info, but not looking to buy at all. My lifestyle which is a middle aged man, no kids, no family allows me to bypass the whole mortgage thing. I live very comfortably renting in a good neighborhood minutes from downtown and putting away money in the process. I know I know, every agent in the world will say I am throwing away money but that is what they are trained to do. Renting is not for everyone. Many people commenting here have familes, kids, multiple pets, nannies and a house is the best thing for them, given affordablility. 90004 is a interesting area, that is actually where we lived in the early-mid 1960s before moving to 90027. Charles Bukowski would wander through those areas around 8th street in search of bars and adventures to put to paper. That area has many names, most prominently Koreatown and St Andrews Square. El Sereno is a great old historic area, it is a sleeping giant right now as probably more people will flow there for affordable homes. I enjoy reading The Eastsider and I agree with some on this site that the ads for overhyped overpriced homes takes away from the zeal of these Eastside neighborhoods (which I love), but one has got to pay the bills. Cheers.

  8. I just saw this house today and it was very nice.

  9. Well, according to Redfin, the house went pending — so we can only assume they got asking since it went so quickly.

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