Sister–realtor duo Michelle and Nicole Artinian of Artinian Realty Group reside and work in Toluca Lake. They specialize in residential real estate, as well as commercial and multifamily transactions in and around the neighborhood. They also give back to the community by working with local charities such as LA Family Housing, which helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty.
Is the real estate market still extremely hot in and around Toluca Lake?
The market is still hot. Looking at the number of closed sales, we have seen a bit of a slowdown from 2021. According to the MLS, this time last year, 82 homes had already sold, while only 52 homes have sold so far in 2022. However, the drop in number of sales is less indicative of a downturn and more attributable to a lack of inventory. Of the homes that have sold this year, there have been 30 single-family homes that have sold with 56% closing at or above asking price, and 19 condos sold so far with 73% closing at or above asking price. As the market begins to shift, who you work with matters more than ever.
How has the real estate industry adapted to the needs of millennials and Gen Zers, most of whom are first-time buyers?
Younger buyers have been open to buying starter homes with two bedrooms or a small yard. They are also open to looking in different areas and are less concerned with school districts or drive times. Small-lot homes — which are usually multi-levels and smaller than a traditional home — are geared toward these buyers and are popping up all over L.A. Many of our younger buyers have received down payment assistance from their family. Some were able to move back home during the pandemic to save money, which has helped them with down payments. We expect millennials and Gen Zers to continue this trend.
What are some real estate trends we can expect for the remainder of 2022?
We anticipate that demand will continue to outpace inventory, multiple offers, over-asking selling prices and short days on market for the rest of 2022. Rising interest rates placed pressure on purchasing power, but because one of the best hedges to inflation is owning real estate, we anticipate demand will remain strong. We think inventory is going to remain low this year; development in L.A. is increasing, which will help to alleviate the mismatch of supply and demand.
What’s the biggest worry you have about the housing market right now?
Affordability and lack of inventory! Unless the market sees a significant increase in inventory, we anticipate that homes will continue to sell at prices that push affordability. That said, after unprecedented times of the COVID-19 era, we are now met with rising interest rates. All in all, it is the uncertainty of these conditions that causes the most pause.
What sets you apart from the competition?
We are obsessed with the client experience. We pride ourselves on being able to maintain high-level results while accommodating a variety of client needs. We offer our clients both choice and control as to how we approach representation. Personally, what sets us apart is the synergy we have cultivated and the fact that we enjoy each other’s company so much. Not only are we sisters, but we are best friends. No matter how crazy real estate or life can get, we can always find a way to laugh. We are able to take the stress out of the transaction and make it a much more enjoyable experience for all.
Do you have any notable news that you would like to share?
We had record-breaking sales last year on Bloomfield Street in Toluca Lake. We were able to represent five listings at Toluca 17, a small-lot development built in 2016.
We have also continued our partnership with LA Family Housing (LAFH). Most recently, we donated an amazing auction basket for the organization’s awards ceremony. Also, we have been getting other businesses in the community together to donate to LAFH as well.
Lastly, we have been working on a new partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Emma Standring-Trueblood from the sponsorship division reached out to us regarding the Make March Matter fundraising event. We were able to raise almost $1,000 during the month of March. We hosted an event with Rose & Sage, and the boutique matched all donations during a Saturday in March. We look forward to continuing to support this amazing cause in the future.