When one thinks of Bel Air, images of mansions and palm tree likely come to mind for many people. Bel Air is certainly worthy of that reputation, but when it comes to this affluent neighborhood in Westside Los Angeles, there is much more than just the common imagery.
Bel Air has a little more than 8,000 residents that are spread out over 6.3 square-miles, which makes it one of the least-dense areas in all of Los Angeles County. There are but a few condominiums in the area (just 3.7% of all residences) and absolutely no multi-family complexes as they are not allowed. Instead, Bel Air real estate consists overwhelmingly of large single-family homes.
Let’s take a closer look on the latest statistics for Bel Air homes for sale. According to Zillow.com, the median price of a home sold in July 2013 was $2,789,000. That represented a 33% jump from July 2012. Often, it’s better to look at the median price per square foot to get a better gauge of home values. In Bel Air, that number soared to nearly $850—making it the most expensive locale in Los Angeles County based on that metric.
Bel Air, along with neighboring Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, is part of what’s called the “Platinum Triangle” in Los Angeles. For decades, the Platinum Triangle has been one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States. With that said, you will find much more than just multi-million dollar mansions when searching Bel Air homes for sale. You will also find ranch-style houses and other properties that are a bit more modest. It’s also worth noting that virtually all Bel Air homes provide plenty of privacy as they are set far back from the neighborhood’s many winding roads.
There are basically three main neighborhoods that make up Bel Air: East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air, and Upper Bel Air. All three are named appropriately. The first two are so-named as they are home to the two main entrances to Bel Air, while Upper Bel Air refers to the homes in the hills.
Bel Air was founded in 1923 by a farmer, Alphonzo E. Bell Sr., after striking it rich with an oil discovery in Santa Fe Springs. He subsequently purchased a large ranch on modern-day Bel Air and would later subdivide the property into huge residential lots. Bel Air is now an affluent enclave located 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles and near the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles.
When living in Bel Air, you will have access to many of the finer things in life including world-class shops and restaurants. There are also a couple of attractions that are unique to Bel Air: the dramatic Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, which was built in 1927 and was inspired by the famous gardens of Kyoto; and the Bel Air Film Festival, which is an international cinema event founded in 2008.
Bel Air is one of the most prestigious locales in the country. For those ready to take the plunge into high society, let the home search begin.