For this special In the Know, we spotlight Zach Goldsmith, Director of The Agency’s Estates Division and a distinguished figure in the world of real estate. Zach specializes in the highly sought-after neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into Zach’s insights on these coveted markets, exploring their evolution in the aftermath of the pandemic. Zach also sheds light on the shifting preferences of luxury homebuyers in these iconic zip codes and shares valuable perspectives on current trends and future predictions for the ever-evolving world of high-end real estate.
Who is buying property in Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills right now?
Most people buying properties in these areas are seasoned buyers looking to upgrade their lifestyle. Very often families are in the prime of their lives.
What is attracting them to these areas?
They are attracted to these areas because they’re amongst the most affluent areas in the city with large estates and very often trophy properties. In the case of Beverly Hills, you get your own city with all the city services and schools, a highly sought-after benefit of living in the world-renowned 90210 zip code.
How have these areas evolved over the last few years since the pandemic, and what are buyers are seeking in luxury homes now?
When we all thought the pandemic was going to confine us to our homes, builders started listening to what people not only want but need moving forward, so amenities like home offices, home gyms, home theaters and properties with larger outdoor spaces were favored.
Now that we’re back to a normal flow of life, while these elements are a wonderful bonus, people are moving back to the location being the most desired criteria—getting as close to offices, schools, activities, restaurants etc.—that people value to simplify their commute and their lives overall.
Is there anything noteworthy about the market right now? Any increase in buyers or renters from a certain region?
in the high end, north of the 10 Freeway and especially $20M we are seeing an influx of Asian buyers. It has been notably difficult, especially for Chinese buyers to pull money from their country over the last decade. Over the last year and 3 months especially they’ve been able to wrangle up millions for large property purchases in these noteworthy neighborhoods.
Do you have any stats or data about the local market over the past year that are notable?
Since interest rates began rising in March of 2023, we’ve seen a heavy decrease in purchasing power, hence the large drop off in home purchases, in many cases we’ve seen a 60% drop in activity year-to-date.
What are your predictions for the real estate market in L.A.? What can we expect to see this year and into the future?
With interest rates no longer on the rise (fingers crossed) and projected to take a few drops this year, we’ve already seen a huge uptick in activity in the market. Buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines see opportunities to jump at slightly reduced rates before the influx of buyers jumps in causing multiple offers on properties once again.
L.A. needs to continue to focus on keeping both big and small businesses in the city while dedicating more resources to cleaning up crime, fighting homelessness and creating affordable housing options for our lower-income residents, while at the same time, we cannot put too much stress on our already weakened infrastructure. It’s time to make L.A. great again.
What advice would you give to potential buyers or sellers in your market based on the current trends and activity?
I’m of the mindset that you find the right property, you figure out how to make it work.
Without trying to predict the bottom of the market, with the help of a great agent who has your best interest in mind (as opposed to simply trying to make a deal), get industrious and strike a deal on something that works well for you and your family in an area that sustains and grows in appreciation, something with great value add potential. If you can pull that off while having the bandwidth to withstand unknown market turns or conditions, you’ll come out ahead, 10 out of 10 times.