Real Estate 2023: Here’s What $1 Million Buys in Los Angeles

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When you think of a $1 million home, you probably think of a mansion in a prime area of town. Unfortunately, for those looking to buy in Los Angeles, low seven figures likely won’t come close to that.

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GOBankingRate spoke to three Los Angeles-area real estate experts to get a realistic look at what $1 million buys you in the City of Angels.

$1 Million Is ‘Entry Level’ for Los Angeles Real Estate

Will Wheaton, a broker with Will Wheaton Real Estate, said that “$1 million is pretty much entry level in Los Angeles unless you are searching in the outlying suburban areas.”

There are currently six properties in Los Angeles proper listed for $1 million, he noted.

“The properties range from 900 to 2,336 square feet of living space, two to three bedrooms, one to three baths, and 3,900 to 9,500 square foot lot size, with an age range from 44 to 133 years [old],” Wheaton said. “Four of the six are fixers or complete tear-downs. The two remaining — a single-family that is an auction property artificially priced to get overbids, and a condo with a $1,800+ monthly HOA — are the only listed properties that are ‘move-in ready’ and don’t require hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrades.”

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Wheaton described the Los Angeles real estate market as “challenging, to say the least.”

“Most sellers who have owned for at least five to 10 years have seen an extreme increase in value,” he said. “Most are not able to afford to purchase the homes they currently live in, especially at today’s rates. Buyers who have been getting priced out for years have been hoping for a severe market downturn, but they are still being faced with prices that are substantial and interest rates that are double what they were 12 months ago. That has priced a great number of buyers out of the market.”

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How Much You Get Depends on the Location, Size and Condition of the Home

Doug Van Soest, co-founder owner of SoCalHome Buyers, notes that there are several factors at play when it comes to how much $1 million will get you in L.A.

“In the Los Angeles real estate market, $1 million can buy you a variety of different properties, depending on the location, size and condition of the property,” he said. “In some areas, such as downtown L.A. or West Los Angeles, a $1 million budget might only get you a small condo or townhouse, whereas, in other areas, such as the San Fernando Valley or certain parts of the South Bay, it could get you a single-family home with a decent-sized yard.

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“It’s also worth noting that real estate prices in Los Angeles have been rising rapidly in recent years, so what $1 million would have bought a few years ago may be significantly different from what you can get now.”

$1 Million Gets You Much Further in Some Neighborhoods Than Others

Tony Mariotti, CEO and founder of RubyHome, a luxury real estate brokerage in Los Angeles, notes that what you can get for $1 million will depend largely on where in the L.A. area you are looking.

“The average cost per square foot in L.A. County is $822, which [means that $1 million] buys a small single-family home or medium-sized condo. The median home price across the county is hovering at nearly $1 million — at $1,030,000, to be exact,” he said.

Mariotti broke down what $1 million will actually get you, depending on the neighborhood:

  • The average cost per square foot in Burbank is $722, which [means that $1 million] buys a small single-family home or medium-sized condo.
  • The average cost per square foot in Pasadena is $808, which gets buyers a small single-family home or medium-sized condo. There are a handful of bungalows on the market below $1 million.
  • The average cost per square foot in Beverly Hills is $1,833, which [means that $1 million] only gets a small condo. There are no single-family homes on the market at or below $1 million. The lowest-priced single-family home at this time is $1.5 million.
  • The average cost per square foot in Malibu is $2,708, so $1 million buys a small condo. In fact, there are only three condos at or below $1 million right now. There are no single-family homes at or below $1 million at this time (other than a few co-ownership opportunities, which means buyers are really just investing in a timeshare situation, not sole possession). The lowest price for a single-family home in Malibu right now is $1.9 million.
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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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