Wealth

Rich of the world once again investing in LA homes

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1505 Blue Jay Way. Tyrone McKillen via Bloomberg

I'm not sure that Los Angeles' hillside and beachfront homes ever stopped being safe and desirable places for the world's richest 1% to park their wealth, but Bloomberg News says the trend is alive and well. "California mansions are being bought by Chinese families, foreign tycoons and U.S. celebrities as a hedge against currency and stock market disasters or the vicissitudes of politics," says a story tagged Bloomberg Luxury. "Many investors pay in cash and don’t live in the homes themselves."

Blue Jay Way, a street that inspired a Beatles song, snakes above Los Angeles, lined with glassy mansions that jut like diving boards from earthquake-prone cliffs.

One of the houses, a mid-century bungalow with an oval pool and a panoramic vista of the Los Angeles basin, rents for $27,000 a month. The owner, who lives in London, paid $2.25 million, or $835 a square foot, two years ago for the three-bedroom, three-bath home.

“This is a very safe investment,” Tyrone McKillen, an agent with Beverly Hills, California-based brokerage Hilton & Hyland Real Estate Inc., said as he walked through 1505 Blue Jay Way. “It’s all about the view.”

While the cliffside properties seem perfectly perched for a Hollywood disaster movie, they’re the equivalent of “safety deposit boxes” for wealthy global investors, according to Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc....

The money is flowing here,” Jeff Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate that completed sales on $1.9 billion in homes last year, said in a telephone interview. “London’s a place to park your money and grow your business. L.A. they look at as a year-round playground because of the weather and the beach and Hollywood.”

Also this: A record number of California homes sold for $2 million or more last year, up 33 percent from 2012 to at least 7,383 deals. That's per DataQuick, Bloomberg says.


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