Berzack says due to both lack of inventory and the tremendous amount of cash on the sidelines, prices are driven to extreme levels.

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—“I firmly believe that commercial real estate is the best investment vehicle for building lifelong wealth. And nowhere else is there such a unique and powerfully desirable geographic as Southern California.” So says Warren Berzack, a principal at Lee & Associates-L.A. North/Ventura Inc., who is one of the recognized “Tomorrow’s Leaders” for Southern California, in the June issue of Real Estate Forum.

According to Berzack, “the Southern California market is extremely overheated now, due to both lack of inventory and the tremendous amount of cash that’s on the sidelines looking for deals. These key factors, coupled with low interest rates, have driven prices to extreme levels over the past 24 months.”

Although volume was tremendous in 2013, Berzack says we will see this year’s volume at 50% to 60% of last year’s, given the gap between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations. “I don’t anticipate more growth in prices at this point, unless rents truly start to increase.”  Overall, he says, rents have reached a plateau in C/D areas, with only very modest growth in A/B areas. “With LA County at over 10% unemployment, this factor needs to change if rents and, in effect, prices, are to see an increase.” 

However, the overall market should remain strong., he explains. “As always, I underscore that Southern California, and particularly Los Angeles, are an extraordinarily desirable and unique geographic that will always be in demand.”

The 34-year-old has been in the business for 14 years, and is currently ranked as his company’s No.2 agent. To read more about why Berzark chose this market, and his rise to the top, be sure to check out the June issue of Real Estate Forum.