One of the houses, a mid-century bungalow with an oval pool and a panoramic vista of the Los Angeles basin, rents for $27,000 a month. The owner, who lives in London, paid $2.25 million, or $835 a square foot, two years ago for the three-bedroom, three-bath home.
“This is a very safe investment,” Tyrone McKillen, an agent with Beverly Hills, California-based brokerage Hilton & Hyland Real Estate Inc., said as he walked through 1505 Blue Jay Way. “It’s all about the view.”
While the cliffside properties seem perfectly perched for a Hollywood disaster movie, they’re the equivalent of “safety deposit boxes” for wealthy global investors, according to Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. Like luxury London homes or Manhattan trophy apartments, California mansions are being bought by Chinese families, foreign tycoons and U.S. celebrities as a hedge against currency and stock market disasters or the vicissitudes of politics. Many investors pay in cash and don’t live in the homes themselves.
“The money is flowing here,” Jeff Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate that completed sales on $1.9 billion in homes last year, said in a telephone interview. “London’s a place to park your money and grow your business. L.A. they look at as a year-round playground because of the weather and the beach and Hollywood.”