LOS ANGELES–ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Los Angeles is a market with a lot of issues, but also a lot of potential. Most of its buildings are not compliant with seismic ordinances and will need to be renovated or face steep fines.

Ordinances that heavily favor single-family detached houses mean that the only places to house its new residents are directly in the path of wildfires. Fortunately, however, there is more reason to be optimistic. Seismic renovations can potentially add billions of dollars to an already very active market. Zoning laws are being amended, which will open up new parts of the city to mixed-density developments.

The Los Angeles area has the third-largest economy of any city in the world – behind just Tokyo and New York. It is home to two of the busiest ports in the country and is where most of our imports are unloaded. It is known across the world as an entertainment hub but is increasingly becoming a financial hub as well. Even so, the next few years should be relatively tepid for the LA market. Growth has slowed in the last 10 years as a higher-than-average cost of living deters prospective residents. LA is also expected to invest heavily in transit, as single-use zoning has led almost all available land to be built on. The city is betting that walkable, interconnected neighborhoods will bring people back to the city center and in the process alleviate some of its environmental woes.

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* Other structures include religious buildings, amusement, government communications, and public recreation projects.
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