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    The Rolling Hills Real Estate Market is Finally BACK

    May 7, 2019

    By: Richard Haynes

    The Rolling Hills home market “Behind the Gates,” has had a rough couple of years from a median price perspective, sales perspective, and even what the city is known for…the high-priced home sales perspective.

    That seems to have all changed in 2018, as well as continuing into the conclusion of Q1 2019. For reference, you can check past blog posts on the struggling Rolling Hills market in this October 2017 post and this November 2018 post.

    Rolling Hills Market Data

    I want to share some data over the past few years that will help illustrate how the Rolling Hills sub-market has performed.


    I tried spacing out the chart (and color coding) so it is easier on the eye to see when the city went higher and when it went lower. As you can see, Rolling Hills peaked in 2015 and fell precipitously in 2016 and 2017.

    Those two years were plagued by decreasing sales which in turn, drove prices lower. To add fuel to the fire, high-priced homes (over $5 million) struggled to sell with only one sale above $5 million in 2017, compared to six the year prior.

    Even during the recovery year in 2018, Rolling Hills lacked $5 million+ sales even when including the luxury auction of 1 Buggy Whip Drive that sold for over $22 million.

    • 1 Buggy Whip Drive
      • 9 bed, 25 bath, 51,000 sq. ft., 322,344 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $22.4 million

    That said, the middle range of the market did exceedingly well in 2018 compared to the ugly last two years. What’s more, the data year-to-date in 2019 is shaping up to continue the strength of the 2018 comeback.

    Notable 2018 Sales & Trends

    Outside of the famous 1 Buggy Whip Drive sale for $22.4 million, there was some great activity “Behind the Gates.”

    • 6 N Middleridge Lane
      • 5 bed, 7 bath, 5,300 sq. ft., 149,463 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $5 million

    This home sale was notable as it was on the market for 484 days starting at a $5.95 million asking price. It officially closed in January 2018 for $5 million. Seeing a buyer come into a market that had been hammered the last two years and confidently purchase this property helped to kick-start 2018 in Rolling Hills.

    From there, the market as a whole performed very well. A majority of the sales were between the $2 and $4 million range which helped the market pop.

    Of the 24 sales in 2018, 15 sales were between $2 million and $4.99 million, which set the foundation for the median price increase.

    Lastly, towards the end of the year, 9 Portuguese Bend Road, a 5,400 square foot turnkey home with a large 73,000 square foot flat lot sold over asking in September.

    • 9 Portuguese Bend Road
      • 6 bed, 7 bath, 5,462 sq. ft., 73,744 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $4.5 million

    This was the ONLY sale for the year to go over its asking price in Rolling Hills. Furthermore, it sold much faster than the similar property below on Johns Canyon Road.

    • 10 Johns Canyon Road
      • 7 bed, 8 bath, 5,300 sq. ft., 123,213 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $4.95 million

    Johns Canyon came out on the market asking $6.5 million and ended up selling for $4.95 million after six months.

    In comparison to Johns Canyon, Portuguese Bend Road was a far inferior location and smaller lot but was able to move without a huge discount…and very quickly. So it was an important sale for the 2018 market after the surprising weak demand for the gorgeous Johns Canyon property.

    Notable 2019 Sales & Trends

    Now that we are four months into 2019, the strength continues “Behind the Gates.”

    There have been seven sales year-to-date and currently, there are three properties in escrow. If you take those ten properties, the median price would settle at $2.715 million, which is a tad lower than 2018, but much higher than 2017.

    The Rolling Hills market looks to be staying in-line with last year’s solid sales.

    Without question, the most notable sale in 2019 was the closing of 29 E. Crest Road for $15.5 million. The 1 Buggy Whip Drive $22.4 million sale might always be the most talked about sale, but for me, E. Crest Road takes the cake.

    • 29 E. Crest Road
      • 5 bed, 4 bath, 6,100 sq. ft., 307,165 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $15.5 million

    29 E. Crest Road, a gorgeously remodeled 6,100 square foot home sold at an absolutely insane $2,540 price per square foot (PPSF). To put that into perspective, the next closest turnkey sale (of all time) in Rolling Hills sold for $1,496 PPSF.

    You won’t come close to this $2,540 PPSF on The Hill from a turnkey perspective, and will only find sales in this range on the Strand by the beach. And although not a fair comparable, the $22.4 million Buggy Whip Drive sale sold at a measly $439 PPSF.

    Not only is this a “wow” sale at a $15.5 million price, but the PPSF is basically unheard of in Rolling Hills and really, the entire P.V. Hill…and likely will not be eclipsed for a very long time. “Wow” is an understatement!

    Another notable sale was 12 Upper Blackwater Canyon that finally sold for $7.8 million. After starting at $9.2 million in 2016, the Seller went through four different listing agents before unloading the property at a $1.4 million discount in 2019.

    • 12 Upper Blackwater Canyon Road
      • 7 bed, 9 bath, 11,127 sq. ft., 198,173 sq. ft. lot
      • Sold: $7.8 million

    Again, this is another big sale where Buyers are willing to come in and bet on Rolling Hills to bounce back.


    All in all, Rolling Hills’ 2018 home market performance would easily win the South Bay’s “Comeback Player of the Year” Award.

    Although the data to start 2019 is slightly lower, some of the big sales are a huge positive factor for this sub-market. Additionally, of the 16 homes on the MLS currently, all but one are asking $2.75 million or higher. That is a massive factor in driving the market much higher.

    Look for 2019 to continue the strength from 2018. The city “Behind the Gates” truly is back and has a chance to push even higher.

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