About Los Angeles
With the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world (behind only Greater Tokyo and New York) and the second-largest population of any American city, Los Angelenos have plenty to brag about—including playing host to the Summer Olympic games twice (in 1932 and 1984).
One economic study found that if California were considered a separate country (not a part of the United States), its economy would still be the sixth largest national economy in the world. That’s a pretty serious amount of prosperity.
But it’s a massive and thriving metropolis that can seem deceptively simple at times.
Despite all the different cultures, despite all the thriving businesses and the complexities of urban living … it all just works. Ethnic communities live and grow alongside hipsters and local artists & businesses. The city has of course endured its fair share of struggles and hardship, but its people have persevered to create a bright new kind of future for the City of Angels …
A Metropolis 500 Years in the Making
Some of America’s largest cities are barely over a century old. Many have been around for over a century, but only began to boom in population over the last 150 years. But in Los Angeles, it’s been a steady swell of migration and investment that’s lasted almost 500 years …
Back in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the area for the Spanish Empire—a site that had been settled by native groups thousands of years before, who named the area after the Posion Oak that grew nearby.
250 years later—in 1771—Spanish missionaries finally set up permanent settlement, building the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel and cultivating a small community. By 1820, the settlement had grown to 650 permanent residents, and the railroads were just fifty years away. Local oil discoveries changed everything, combining with the new railroads to help California export more oil than anyone else in the world; at one time providing 25% of the world’s oil supply all by itself.
By 1910, there were already ten different film companies operating in Los Angeles—with so many more to follow. The expansion of the Highway System combined with the influx of eager young workers after the end of World War II to help Los Angeles grow faster than ever, with soaring suburban growth that reached all the way out into the San Fernando Valley.
And along the way, the city developed its own intensely unique kind of culture …
It’s a Los Angeles Thing
Think fresh fish tacos … think a morning of high-end shopping followed by an afternoon of deep-cave spelunking … if these kinds of wacky things (and more) excite you, then Los Angeles is definitely the place to be …
If nothing else, Los Angelenos are confident in challenging the status quo and seeking out exciting new experiences and opportunities. It’s the kind of city where everyone (not just the movie stars) is some kind of celebrity, and all the world is truly a stage.
Where Northern California’s Wine Country is eager to challenge traditional expectations of wine and vintner’s status, Southern California is eager to challenge traditional expectations in general.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock, considering Los Angeles is often billed as the “Creative Capital of the World,” where one in every six residents works in a creative industry. And it’s not all about Hollywood either, since the city is also home to a massive performing arts community. It’s estimated that some 1,100+ annual theatrical productions are hosted, with 21 new openings in an average week.
It also shouldn’t come as a shock that Los Angeles County is home to a whopping 841 museums—especially not when you consider the city’s immense ethnic diversity. The city proudly claims to have more museums per capita than any other city in the world …
Big Business in a Big Way
As mentioned above, Los Angeles’ economy is simply massive—one of the largest in the world—with a plethora of different job opportunities at every level.
Half of the country’s six major film studios (Paramount, Fox and Universal) are all located within city limits, with the remaining three located just outside in neighboring cities. Half a dozen Fortune 500 companies—from American Apparel and Herbalife to Sunkist—call LA home as well.
Believe it or not, Los Angeles is also the largest manufacturing center in the Western United States; in part due to the processing and refining industries that grew up around the city’s oil concerns. The Port of Los Angeles (and neighboring Long Beach) is also critical to the American economy.
In short; the city’s economy is pure heaven for creative professionals and a great place for a number of other professions as well …
Surprising Opportunity in LA Condos
In such a progressive and free-thinking city, you might expect downtown condos to be prized possessions for super high-end buyers.
Instead, surprisingly, Los Angeles is still showing prices that are well below comparable luxury listings in New York or Miami. With new construction condos costing an average of $739 per square foot last month it’s far from a cheap market—but it’s not the most expensive either (San Francisco showed an average of $1,263 per square foot in the same period).
A solid recovery in post-crash condo prices has helped buoy sales in downtown LA, but the market has yet to take off—despite solid demand meeting a near-complete lack of supply. Prices are steadily increasing; to be sure, but they have yet to really soar.
All of this adds up to a surprisingly buyer-friendly market in the City of Angels; provided of course that buyers are patient and ready to act swiftly when they encounter the right deals …