As the market softens, prices drop: These homes in NELA sold for a lot less than the owners hoped

2022 Business Editions Featured Jeffery Marino October Real Estate

By Jeffery Marino

It’s a truism of real estate that home sellers are usually the last to catch on when the market goes south. Having spent years on the sidelines as bidding wars drove up prices, they tend to price their own homes based on the dynamics of the past rather than the realities of the present.

The two homes featured below, one in Highland Park and one in Atwater Village, illustrate this point. Both of the homes were listed for sale in May, before interest rates spiked over 6% and when the median sale price in Northeast Los Angeles peaked at $1.25 million. By the time the homes sold in August, they were deeply discounted from their original asking prices.

This three-bed, two-bath cottage in Highland Park was intended to be a quick flip. The investor who bought it in February 2022 remodeled the interior, painted inside and out, and dropped it back on the market in May for $1.095 million. After five price drops in quick succession, the price stood at $979,000 in mid-July. That’s when the right buyers came calling, but they pushed the price down to $900,000 before the deal closed in late August. A Highland Park remodel selling for a $200K discount rather than a premium? That’s not a story we’ve heard around here for a while. 

This four-bed, two-bath Atwater home hit the market in May with an asking price of $1.649 million (It was the first time the house was up for sale since 1972, when it sold for $29,000). After several weeks on the market and a nearly $50,000 price drop, the home finally sold for $1.506 million in August, a discount from the asking price of $143,000. Granted, the sellers are probably pleased with the sale price, especially considering it doesn’t look like they spent any money upgrading the interior (check out the cabinetry)! Still, a six-figure discount in Atwater is unheard of. That is, until now. 

Jeffery Marino
Jeffery is a seasoned data journalist and has covered the California real estate market for over a decade.

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