To say it’s an interesting time in San Pedro’s history would be an understatement, especially when examining the dynamics of our local real estate market. What’s happening with our real estate market in San Pedro? How will future developments, including the L.A. Waterfront, AltaSea, and other projects, impact prices in our area? Is the fate of San Pedro finally looking up after years of false hopes and economic stagnation? Is it possible that we become the next real estate hot spot, like El Segundo, Playa Del Rey and Inglewood have due to major developments and the influx of technology-based businesses? These are all questions we’re asking here in town. Over the last couple of months, we’ve noticed some interesting trends, so we began informally tracking numbers and opinions from people that visit our open houses; asking where they were currently living, why they were looking in the area, and their overall opinion of San Pedro. Interestingly, we were finding more and more people coming from out of the area to investigate real estate in San Pedro. Sure, we encountered many long-time local residents looking to move for various reasons, but nearly 50% of the people we queried were from outside areas. The obvious question was why? Why would any of these people come to San Pedro to view real estate when they were already living in “nice” areas? The most common answers: affordability, draw of the coastline and San Pedro’s prospects for future growth potential. As one couple put it, “We can’t afford to touch anything in the South Bay near the water, so we began expanding our search into San Pedro.” Another open house visitor exclaimed, “I hear positive things about the future of San Pedro and ongoing developments, so I felt I should come check out homes before prices escalate out of my reach.” Is it possible that these new development projects can change the economic and demographic landscape of our multi-cultural and multi-generational melting pot in San Pedro? We can’t say for certain, but the reality is that we see our town evolving in many ways. There is no question that we have our share of issues that one could attribute to being part of the behemoth that is the City of Los Angeles. Homelessness, vagrancy, public drug abuse, crime and insufficient law enforcement presence, among other issues, remain as pressing challenges we face as a community. However, the sense of community and pride in San Pedro remain strong with optimism for positive change evident. It’s also clear that certain outside businesses, developers, and people from other areas view San Pedro as an opportunity area. Residential real estate remains strong in San Pedro, with demand outpacing existing inventory levels. This can also be said for the entire South Bay. The average sales price for a single-family residence in San Pedro over the last six months was approx. $683,000 (based on local MLS stats). During the same period last year, the average sales price was approx. $647,000, which is an increase of just over 5% (year over year). This is the highest we’ve seen prices in our area since 2006. The average sales price in San Pedro pales in comparison to other coastal areas, such as El Segundo and Playa Del Rey. These cities have experienced substantial transformational growth and change over recent years, due mainly to technology-based start up growth in the area. The average sales price (over the last six months) for a single-family residence in El Segundo was just over $1.4 million and Playa Del Rey was upwards of $1.86 million (based on local MLS stats). In comparison, San Pedro real estate remains a great value. With big questions remaining and challenges ahead, we wonder what the future will bring for San Pedro. Will announcements by SpaceX and Boeing to occupy space in our port and waterfront development lure other technology based businesses and entrepreneurial risk takers to our area due to its affordability, location, and growth potential? Will San Pedro be the next coastal city in line to receive a slick catchphrase, such as Silicon Beach? Could we be on the brink of our own Boom Harbor? Only time will tell, but everyone will be intently watching and waiting as the next chapter unfolds in the history of our seaside community. spt
Mike Harper is a Broker Associate at Keller Williams PV Realty and Peter Hazdovac is a Realtor® at Keller Williams L.A. Harbor. For more info, visit www.harperhazdovac.com.