The Los Angeles transit system has been a source of frustration for many commuters who long for more lines closer to home that would allow them to avoid driving long hours to and from work each day. Currently, projects are underway in the city to expand current transit options, including a line in West LA. Along with this new line, some city officials and community developers are trying to encourage more residential developments in key neighborhoods that need them. If you’ve been considering a move to West LA and want to keep track of what’s new with West LA real estate, keep reading.
The Crenshaw/Expo Line
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting a new line. Currently under construction, the new Crenshaw/LAX addition is an eight-and-a-half-mile transit line that will start near Crenshaw and Leimert Park and run down to Inglewood and LAX. The new line will include eight new stations at Expo/Crenshaw, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leimert Park, Hyde Park, Fairview Heights, Downtown Inglewood, Westchester/Veterans, and Aviation/Century, connecting to LAX via an Airport Metro Connector at Aviation Blvd.
A hopeful solution to the road congestion faced by many LA commuters, the Crenshaw/Expo line is purported to not only save locals from longer than necessary commutes but also benefit the environment by keeping more cars off the road. Los Angeles public transit features subway, light-rail, bus, and shuttle lines that extend to almost every corner of the city. It will provide additional employment for many in the community and has already sparked more residential development in the surrounding neighborhoods, something the city has a dire need for.
The current state of California's housing
Los Angeles still comes in at number six on a list of the most traffic-congested cities in the country, and many residents would be quick to inform anyone about the slow daily commutes that take away precious hours each year. This congestion is in large part due to the fact that Los Angeles has the second-highest population in the country, with more than 12.4 million residents in the metro area. Along with traffic congestion, the Los Angeles housing market has not been able to keep up with the influx of new residents each year.
Research has shown that approximately 25% of California’s homeless population live in Los Angeles, with more than 160,000 people who call the city home not having a permanent place to stay. High demand for apartments and housing in the city without enough units for all of its residents means that LA real estate and rental prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
Currently, homes for sale in West LA have appreciated nearly 14% over the previous year, bringing median prices to $1 million. The average rent for a small, two-bedroom apartment in the city with 790 square feet is a staggering $2,661 a month. But that largely depends on where you are in the city. In West LA, prices are even higher, with studio apartments renting for an average of $2,766 a month. That means that individuals and families who make anywhere from at least $25,000-$60,000 a year are quickly priced out of finding West LA real estate to rent, let alone a property to invest in as an owner. However, along with the development of new transit lines in Los Angeles, like the Crenshaw/Expo line, the hope is that at least a small portion of the housing crisis in the city will start to be amended with the addition of more affordable housing options.
New transit-oriented communities
To combat the city’s housing shortage, Los Angeles officials have been working on a program called Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC), which aims to bring in more apartments and homes for sale in West LA, especially in crucial areas along new transit lines in the city. Since the city has been facing such a severe housing shortage along with steadily-increasing real estate and rental prices, more pressure has been put on families looking to relocate or those with lower incomes. To alleviate the issue, new developments are in progress all along the new Crenshaw/Expo transit line, and the city is rising to meet the need for income-restricted units.
These income-restricted properties, which are reserved for those who make less than $55,000 a year, are the main focus of the TOC, which has plans to produce more than 8,500 individual units for families and individuals within the next five years. Though it’s projected that more than 500,000 units would be required to meet current demand, the developments that are underway symbolize a significant move towards creating more affordable options for residents in LA County. Not all of the new West LA real estate will be income-restricted, though. About 75% of the projects will be standard apartment complexes or condos with a number of luxury units as well.
So far, the program has received mixed reviews from locals and lawmakers, who worry that further increasing the already dense residential landscape in LA will have negative impacts on the environment. TOC officials hope, however, that by placing new properties close to transit lines, CO2 emissions from long driving commutes will decrease.
With new developments popping up, it’s important to work with a qualified realtor when you’re searching for a new home. David Dippong is an LA and Orange County realtor with a record of over $30 million in total sales. With strong attention to detail and a warm approach to clients, David works hard to help homebuyers create a personalized strategy for meeting their goals. So if you’re intrigued about what’s happening in Los Angeles and want to know more about the new homes for sale in West LA that might be available to you, reach out to real estate agent David Dippong.