Highland Park has recently earned a reputation as one of the “hippest areas in LA”. If you’ve been reading up on places to live in Los Angeles, then you’ve heard about it. It’s a gritty area packed full of bars, restaurants, tattoo shops, and a lot of hipsters. Sandwiched between Eagle Rock, the Arroyo Seco, South Pasadena, Montecito Heights and Mount Washington, Highland Park recently ranked the top on a list of up-and-coming neighborhoods in the nation, based on sales volume, average price per square foot, sale-to-list ratio and on-market listings. The median price for single family homes in Highland Park in 2013 was around $444K and it is now around $725K.
Glassell Park is an East Side neighborhood with rustic hillside pockets. The diverse area butts up against Mount Washington and is close to Silver Lake. This area has been transformed tremendously over the past decade as young creative people and families have moved in. Many found that while Glassell Park was a quick commute to places like Pasadena and Glendale, and it also offered housing at comparatively reasonable costs. The median price in Glassell Park, which started its gentrification a little after Highland Park, was around $545K in 2014, and it is now $764K.
This relatively high-income LA enclave rich in counterculture has been up-and-coming for well over a decade. The area is popular with thirty-somethings who fill the neighborhood’s top spots, including The Black Boar, Eagle Rock Brewery, and Casa Bianca. This area is also home to a large student population as it surrounds the famous Occidental College. The median home value in Eagle Rock a few years ago was around 550k and now is $866,200. Eagle Rock home values have gone up 11.8% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.6% within the next year.
So far, the entries on this list have been located in the east. However, West Side quarter Faircrest Heights is also among the city’s most promising neighborhoods. In 2013 Business Insider named it number three on its list of America’s Top 10 Hottest Neighborhoods and it’s only continued to get more popular. It’s a lovely little residential area and a great neighborhood for families. Home value in the area have gone up 14.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.2% within the next year.
This is one of the areas that was popularized by the extension of the Metrolink. Monrovia is tucked away amidst Arcadia, Sierra Madre and Duarte, and it’s not too far from Baldwin Park. It’s an ethnically diverse area located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. For lovers of nature, the city boasts Monrovia Canyon Park with a host of trails like Monrovia Falls. The feeling of the area is much more akin to a Southern California town than Los Angeles. The median home value in Monrovia is $657,100. Monrovia home values have gone up 4.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.9% within the next year.
Next to Irwindale, Glendora and Duarte, this city is another MetroLink expansion hotspot. Driving commuters access the neighborhood through the I-210 freeway between the I-605 and State Route 57. Azusa boasts a fairly young population of mostly twenty-somethings and a median home value of $447,500. Azusa home values have gone up 8.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.0% within the next year.
Located 23 miles east of Downtown LA, Glendora is another potentially breaking area. This is a generally well-off town that boasts a top-ranking public school system viewed as one of the best in California and the US. As for crime, Glendora is considered 30 percent safer than other cities in the nation. The family-friendly city consists of many sales and office workers, professionals and managers with a strong contingent working in office support. The ethnically diverse area is sometimes referred to as the “pride of the foothills.”The median home value in Glendora is $603,200. Glendora home values have gone up 7.8% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.6% within the next year.
Family-friendly neighborhood Mar Vista enjoys a virtually perfect geographical position adjacent to Santa Monica, Palms, Sawtelle, Venice and Del Rey. It has an exceptionally high percentage of locals with four-year degrees which is not surprising considering its educational offerings. These include public schools like Mar Vista Elementary School, as well as nearby private schools like Le Lycée Français and parochial schools like Notre Dame Academy. With a median house price of $1,418,100, it’s hardly a bargain, but it merits a place on this list as an up-and-coming, higher-end family neighborhood. Mar Vista home values have gone up 9.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.5% within the next year.
Areas near Downtown L.A. are still benefiting from the continuing development taking place in the area with the proposed L.A. River Project which only adds to the attraction of surrounding neighborhoods. Right now eyes are on Cypress Park, In the flat lands sandwiched between Mt Washington and Elysian Park is an area you may not have heard about. Little Cypress Park is slated to be the next up-and-coming area in LA. Its cheaper than any other area on this list and is only a few minutes to Highland Park, Silverlake/Echo Park and Downtown. It’s also located on the LA River bike path, which makes it one of the more bike-friendly parts of Los Angeles.
Other reasons why Cypress Park is set to be the “next hot neighborhood” include close access to both the 5 Freeway and the 110 Freeway, it’s still home to the original King Taco, it has easy access to three major parks (Elysian, Griffith, Ernest E Debs), it has cool bars, coffee shops and great food. The median home value in Cypress Park is $693,500. Cypress Park home values have gone up 23.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.8% within the next year.
One other area to consider is the City of Inglewood, home of the new $2 billion NFL stadium. The stadium plan includes a shopping and entertainment development that is almost sure to attract buyers who are priced out of the high-priced Westside areas. Inglewood is close to freeways and main thoroughfares providing easy access to the Westside, and it is close to LAX. The Crenshaw/LAX metro line due to be completed in 2019 will make for an easy commute to the north and east. However, don’t count on the new stadium boosting home sales immediately, buying in Inglewood would be more of a long term investment opportunity. The reason to consider Inglewood is its affordability factor compared with the Westside. The median home value in Inglewood is $523,500. Inglewood home values have gone up 15.8% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.7% within the next year.