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Multifamily Sales Drop in Los Angeles

Transfer Tax Imposed April 1 Dents Investor Demand

Multifamily

By Ryan Patap CoStar Analytics

July 17, 2023 | 10:33 AM


Multifamily sales dropped considerably in the second quarter in Los Angeles after a new transfer tax imposed on property sellers within the city limits took effect, leading to the lowest quarterly sales volume for multifamily real estate in over a decade.


In total, 134 properties worth just over $347 million were sold during the quarter. The activity represents a third of the activity on a dollar basis witnessed in the first quarter.


Some sellers rushed to get multifamily transactions closed before April 1 to avoid the transfer tax. Sellers in the city now face an additional 4% transfer tax for any sale above $5 million and a 5.5% transfer tax for any sale above $10 million. The new transfer taxes are on top of the 0.45% transfer tax the city had in place before April.


Of the properties that traded in the city in the second quarter, only six closed with a sale price above $5 million.


Year-to-date activity in the rest of Los Angeles County contrasts somewhat with activity inside the city limits. Transaction volume in the second quarter was down from the first quarter in the rest of the county, but only by 25%.


Transaction volume in the Los Angeles area in the second quarter was down from the first quarter in the rest of the county, but only by 25%. During the first quarter, the city saw just over 60% of all multifamily sales on a dollar basis in Los Angeles County. However, the city saw just 40% of dollar activity in Los Angeles County in the second quarter.


Historically, the city sees a higher percentage of multifamily sales on a dollar basis than the rest of Los Angeles County. During the past 10 years before the second quarter, the city saw 53% of all multifamily dollar volume in the county.


Activity will likely remain restrained in the city in the coming quarters due to legal challenges and a potential statewide ballot initiative in November 2024 called the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act, which would end the mansion tax in Los Angeles and others like it if passed. Investors may wait and see the final fate of the transfer tax before deciding to buy or sell.Multifamily sales dropped considerably in the second quarter in Los Angeles after a new transfer tax imposed on property sellers within the city limits took effect, leading to the lowest quarterly sales volume for multifamily real estate in over a decade.


In total, 134 properties worth just over $347 million were sold during the quarter. The activity represents a third of the activity on a dollar basis witnessed in the first quarter.


Some sellers rushed to get multifamily transactions closed before April 1 to avoid the transfer tax. Sellers in the city now face an additional 4% transfer tax for any sale above $5 million and a 5.5% transfer tax for any sale above $10 million. The new transfer taxes are on top of the 0.45% transfer tax the city had in place before April.


Of the properties that traded in the city in the second quarter, only six closed with a sale price above $5 million.


Year-to-date activity in the rest of Los Angeles County contrasts somewhat with activity inside the city limits. Transaction volume in the second quarter was down from the first quarter in the rest of the county, but only by 25%.


Transaction volume in the Los Angeles area in the second quarter was down from the first quarter in the rest of the county, but only by 25%. During the first quarter, the city saw just over 60% of all multifamily sales on a dollar basis in Los Angeles County. However, the city saw just 40% of dollar activity in Los Angeles County in the second quarter.


Historically, the city sees a higher percentage of multifamily sales on a dollar basis than the rest of Los Angeles County. During the past 10 years before the second quarter, the city saw 53% of all multifamily dollar volume in the county.


Activity will likely remain restrained in the city in the coming quarters due to legal challenges and a potential statewide ballot initiative in November 2024 called the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act, which would end the mansion tax in Los Angeles and others like it if passed. Investors may wait and see the final fate of the transfer tax before deciding to buy or sell.

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