When the COVID-19 pandemic left Los Angeles working individuals and families unable to pay their rent, eviction moratoriums were issued on a state and federal level. This may have provided temporary relief to individuals struggling to make ends meet but one key stakeholder was carelessly overlooked: the landlords.
According to Glen Scher, co-founder of the LAAA Team of Marcus & Millichap, most people have misconceptions about Los Angeles landlords. “I think people falsely assume that these landlords are ultra-rich billionaires who can endure not having rental income for a few months, but that is actually not the case, a lot of these landlords are mom and pop owners who depend on their tenants paying their rent to survive.”
Though generous pardons have been given to the tenants, the landlords have not been afforded the same special treatment and the Los Angeles market has felt the consequences. As the most active multifamily/apartment team in Los Angeles County, commercial real estate brokers, Glen Scher and Filip Niculete specialize in 5+ unit commercial apartment buildings. They had a front-row seat to the dumpster fire that ensued when tenants stopped paying rent.
“Landlords were left scrambling, unable to meet their mortgage and loan payments when the rent checks stopped coming in,” recalls Niculete. As panic ensued, Niculete and Scher’s support was more pertinent than ever. Many owners were forced to sell, but the circumstances were less than ideal. “Just because they had to sell suddenly, didn’t mean they shouldn’t get the best possible deal for their property,” says Scher.
That is where he and Niculete came in as they worked tirelessly for several months to broker the best possible deals for their clients. They turned to their massive database and unmatched brokerage skills. Scher is happy to report that they were able to get all of those deals sold, many of them going for close to the pre-pandemic value. Though some tenants still are not paying rent, things are slowly beginning to return to normal in Los Angeles.
Fortunately, Prop 21, an initiative statute for local rent control, was voted against on the 2020 ballot. “The future’s looking bright,” says Niculete. In the coming months, the pair expects to see a lot of activity in the Los Angeles real estate market. With interest rates the lowest they’ve been in years, many new investors are considering purchasing their first multi-unit property.
Though there has been a shortage in LA inventory, Niculete and Scher expect more inventory to become available as sellers will take advantage of all of the demand and begin to prepare for the inevitable drop in the market. “We were the most active multi-family and apartment team in Los Angeles in 2020, and we expect to surpass our success and then some in 2021,” says Scher. To learn more about buying or selling or investing with the renowned LAAA Team of Marcus & Millichap, visit www.laaa.com.
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