SoFi Stadium has helped drive up Inglewood rent and house prices

Inglewood home and rent prices have skyrocketed since the NFL approved the Rams’ plans to move to Inglewood in 2016, overtaking surrounding communities and Los Angeles County.

Price increases, which have also been propelled by recent development beyond SoFi Stadium in the city ​​of nearly 108,000 inhabitants, is a boon for home sellers, developers and owners. But more expensive homes and apartments mean Inglewood is less affordable, excluding longtime black and Latino residents.

“This is a crisis for tenants. Even though rent control orders have been put in place, landlords still have several other ways to raise rents,” said Rick Foard, an organizer with the Lennox-Inglewood Tenants. Union, an activist organization that advocates for the rights of tenants in the city.According to census data, approximately two-thirds of Inglewood residents are tenants.

In 2016, Inglewood was one of the most affordable places to buy a home in Los Angeles County. Of 159 county communities where real estate company Zillow tracks prices, Inglewood and its median sale price of $402,271 rank 124th.

Last year, it topped 27 quarters at 97th place with a median price of $739,254, an increase of almost 84%.

Price increases have been consistent, increasing by at least $25,000 every year since 2016. The biggest jump occurred from 2020 to 2021, the same year the stadium opened. During this period, when the pandemic created a historically hot housing market due to low interest rates and ultra-high demand, the median home price jumped $76,933, or about 13% higher. one year to the next.

Rents have also jumped. In January 2016, the average one-bedroom apartment in Inglewood rented for $1,100, according to Zumper, an apartment rental listings website. Today, the average is $1,750, an increase of $650.

That’s roughly double the increase in Los Angeles, where rents rose $335 over the same period.

Inglewood addressed rapidly rising rents in 2019, expanding eviction protections and limit rent increases 3% per year for buildings with five or more units built before February 1995.

But one the owner can get a bigger raise if inflation exceeds 3%, by making improvements or petitioning the city – both within strict limits. If a tenant moves out, the landlord can increase the rent at market rates, but then must follow the 3% annual increase rule. New buildings are not covered by Inglewood’s rent control ordinance.

There’s no reason to expect prices won’t continue to rise for newer homes and apartments not covered by rent control. Super Bowl LVI is SoFi Stadium’s biggest exit party yet — a fitting end to the first football season in which fans were allowed inside — but SoFi will hit bigger milestones, both nationally and globally in the years to come.

In 2023, the stadium is set to host the National College Football Playoff Championship, as well as WrestleMania 39. SoFi is also proposing to host the World Cup Finals in 2026. In 2028, it will be the site of the Opening Ceremonies and Olympic closing. .

Joining the party soon are the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in the process of erecting an 18,000-seat arena just south of SoFi called the Intuit Dome.

Residents fear that new stadiums and other developments will make Inglewood too expensive to live in and increase gentrification.

“The Super Bowl, aside from its role in society in distracting people from the real issues, is not particularly useful, economically or culturally, for the people who live in the neighborhood, which has quite a few people. low-income,” tenant organizer Foard said.

“Rising rents and house prices started as soon as it was announced that SoFi Stadium would be built,” said Foard, a retired legal services attorney.

The story of Stadium View Apartments, just across from SoFi Stadium, illustrates the tensions at play.

Built in 1959, the 50-unit complex was called Inglewood Gardens before there was a stadium to be seen. In 2018, rents rose 33%, tenant advocates said.

Alfa Investments bought the building in 2019 for $10.3 million and has since spent $1.5 million on renovations, said Bryan Russo, a partner in the company, which owns several apartment buildings in the south. from California.

Stadium View Apartments, a complex located across from SoFi Stadium, has been recently renovated. The stadium and other developments have driven up housing prices in Inglewood.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Along with the new name, the owners refreshed the exterior and made other repairs, including new plumbing, windows, doors and locks as well as a new security gate and cameras, Russo said.

But the Lennox-Inglewood Tenants’ Union says there are still repairs to be made and protested outside the complex alongside current tenants. The group claims that Alfa Investment does not carry out repairs because it wants tenants to move, which would allow the landlord to significantly increase the rent.

Russo denied the accusation saying, “That’s not what I’m looking to do.” All repairs required by the city have been made, he said.

“We don’t have to replace a torn carpet because the owner has a dog that tore the carpet. It’s nuanced and not as straightforward as they portray it,” Russo said, adding that only a few tenants are unhappy and most “have no issues.”

“We only have to provide a habitable residence. There are gray areas, like where they say there’s a hole in the wall. Well, who put a hole in the wall? he said.

South LA real estate agent Heather Presha said when she started selling homes in 2007, she couldn’t convince any of her clients to move to Inglewood. People looking in South Los Angeles usually aimed for Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills or Leimert Park.

But for the past seven years, Presha has seen only house price increases in Inglewood as demand has soared.

As usual in new development areas, most people selling homes in Inglewood are older – Presha estimates around 80% – while most buyers are millennials.

This two-story home in Inglewood sold for $1.35 million, setting a price record in the city.

This house in Inglewood sold for $1.35 million last year. The Colonial-style spot about a mile from SoFi Stadium was last sold in 2012 — before the stadium was announced — for $424,900.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

The demand has created a luxury market in Inglewood that did not previously exist. Prior to 2020, a single Inglewood home had sold for over $1 million. Since then, 18 houses have traded hands for $1 million or more.

According to the Multiple Listing Service, the most expensive home sale in Inglewood history occurred in September when a Colonial-style spot about a mile from SoFi Stadium sold for $1.351 million. It last sold in 2012 – before the stadium was announced – for $424,900.

“We had 10 offers on the house, and the counter-offers eventually forced them to remove the appraisal contingency,” said Tisha Greene of LA Vision Properties, who listed the house and sold it for around $150,000 over asking price. The 1950s residence now boasts an upgraded floor plan with French doors, plantation shutters, stained glass windows and a marble entry.

She said the stadium and the influx of new business was a big part of the selling point, and the proximity to SoFi was a big selling point for the prospective buyer.

Inglewood’s listings on real estate databases such as Zillow and Redfin often advertise themselves as a potential investment, noting that the buyer could turn the property into an Airbnb rental. Many mention how close they are to SoFi; a few even include a photo of the stadium alongside photos of the house.

Greene said the trend in Inglewood in the future will be planned communities with larger, nicer homes than the city’s typical housing stock. Compress larger homes onto smaller lots. More luxury housing, less affordable housing.

“These investors and developers are not running a non-profit organization,” she said.

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