montecito heights homes on hill

Within living memory - heck within the last 20 years - a million-dollar home was considered a mansion.

As recently as 2009, million-dollar sales in Silver Lake, for example, were infrequent enough to raise eyebrows and get the neighbors talking. In November of that year, The Eastsider noted that nearly a dozen homes in the 90039 Zip Code, which includes northern Silver Lake and Atwater Village, had sold for a million dollars or more during a recent six month period. Almost 12. Gosh.

This year? A search on Redfin over the last six months in that same Zip Code turns up more than 140 homes that sold for at least $1 million.

In fact many other neighborhoods across the Eastside and Los Angeles have seen the typical home price climb above the six-figure mark in recent years, notes the L.A. Times. Low mortgage rates and other  factors have propelled prices ever higher.  Since March of last year, 15 neighborhoods in the City of L.A. -- including Eagle Rock -- have joined the million-dollar club, said the Times.

In the region overall, the “typical” value of a single-family home has reached $1 million or more in 55 cities and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles and Orange counties as of July. Before the pandemic, it was only 38.

“The pandemic economy,” the Times said, “pushed Southern California’s competitive housing market into … overdrive.”

And what kind of home do you even get for a mere million? In the 90039 Zip Code, sales of less than $1.2 million were mainly in the less pricy section of Atwater Village. Most were under 2,000 square-feet. Only a couple - in northern Atwater - just barely topped 3,000.

The smallest was an attractive 702-square-foot Spanish bungalow on a 2,250-square-foot lot - two bedrooms, one bathroom, purchased for more than $200,000 above the asking price. The largest was five units totaling 3,260 square feet, which somebody somehow got for nearly $200,000 below asking.

Solid purchases, yes. But mansions they are not.

In one of The Eastsider’s … uh … less prescient moments in that same 2009 article, we also said, “Don't expect the million dollar property club to add many members in Echo Park, Mt. Washington or Eagle Rock.”

Yeah. About that. In the most recent six-month period this year, 85 homes sold for more than $1 million in Echo Park, 69 in Mount Washington, and 112 in Eagle Rock.

Assistant Editor

Barry Lank has worked for newspapers on the East and West Coasts, and earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University. He formerly produced "National Lampoon Presents: The Final Edition." A native of San Gabriel Valley, he now lives in East Hollywood.

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