What does the median home price of $588,000 get you in Downtown Los Angeles?

  • Home prices in DTLA average between $777 to $809 per sq ft
  • Affordable units are at a premium in downtown
  • What area lacks in affordability, made up for by location

DTLA is its own ecosystem comprised of many different neighborhoods, and what you get for your money really depends on location, location, location.

Spectacular city views are part of what attracts DTLA blogger and real estate professional Brigham Yen to downtown. He loved it so much he started a blog called DTLA Rising to help inform other urban pioneers of developments in the downtown renaissance.

“DTLA was beginning to revitalize,” said Yen, “and I just really wanted to share with everybody.”

Brigham shows me a 530 square-foot “modern city loft” in a converted office building in the financial district.

“Your dining room, your living room, and your bedroom are all sort of connected,” Yen explained.

Listed for $429,000, which is well below our median home price of $588,000, the price works out to be about $809 per square foot, which is average for the area.

Yen says a common misconception of downtown is that all the development you see is condos.

“[People] see all these cranes in the sky and they go, 'Oh! I want to buy here,' or, you know, 'those are towers for purchase,'” said Yen. “They're not, they're actually, most of them are rental towers.”

Just a few blocks away in the historic core, Roxanna Godinez shows off a loft listed at $555,000 at the Douglas Lofts, a building which dates back to 1898.  At $777 per square foot, it’s a better deal than the financial district loft, and again, it's on par with area norms. The historic core tends to be less expensive than the financial district.

Godinez explained, “Historic core, it is closer to be being $675 or $725 [per square foot]. That's the average for the historic core.”

Of course, markets fluctuate, but at the moment, Godinez says there's a shortage of what she calls entry level lofts at this price point in the historic core.

“Anything that is under $575,000 tends to go very fast in downtown,” she said.

This Douglas unit has only been on the market since mid-January and is already in escrow with two backup offers. As far as square footage goes, you'll probably get more for your dollar in the suburbs, but for those who are urban nesters, part of the value comes from the location.