The Top Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

A Culver City street at dusk
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Los Angeles feels as though it keeps getting more and more crowded—and expensive. Like other big cities around the country, urban sprawl is inevitable and also welcome to Angelenos seeking to work together but also improve their quality of life across the Los Angeles basin. From the depths of the city to the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, people are on the move, improving their lives, their neighborhoods, and their towns. Below is a list of some of those up-and-coming LA neighborhoods and LA County cities people are moving into.

  • 01 of 09

    Sandwiched between Eagle Rock, the Arroyo Seco, South Pasadena, Montecito Heights and Mount Washington, Highland Park recently ranked at the top on Redfin's list of up-and-coming neighborhoods in the nation, based on sales volume, average price per square foot, sale-to-list ratio and on-market listings. But that's all technical mumbo-jumbo. It's better to hear what the neighborhood is about from one of its natives, Highland Park artist Jena Cardwell: "There are a lot of artists around here. It’s very creative. Highland Park is going through a renaissance now and it’s changing and focusing on art a lot. The art scene here is accessible to everyone but like most areas of any city, they like to focus on local artists.…" 

  • 02 of 09

    Glassell Park is an East Side (technically North East) neighborhood with rustic hillside pockets. The diverse area butts up against Mount Washington and is close to Silver Lake. Once a bit on the rundown side, the area has been transformed tremendously over the past decade as young creative people and families have moved in. Many found that while Glassell Park was a quick commute to places like Pasadena and Glendale, and it also offered housing at comparatively reasonable costs. It still hasn't been completely gentrified, so occasionally crime can still be a problem.

  • 03 of 09

    For locals, this relatively high-income northeastern LA enclave steeped in counterculture has been up-and-coming for well over a decade—and has been quite slow to come into its own. The average sales price of a home in Eagle Rock has recently jumped, so get it while it's hot, so to speak. The area is popular with quirky, forward-thinking thirty-somethings who fill the neighborhood's top spots, including The Black Boar, Eagle Rock Brewery, and Casa Bianca

  • 04 of 09

    So far, the entries on this list have been located in the east. However, West Side quarter Faircrest Heights (aka the Pico-Fairfax Corridor) is also among the city's most promising neighborhoods. Business Insider named it number three on its list of America's Top 10 Hottest Neighborhoods. The neighborhood is more of an up-and-comer for buyers; it's already been popular with renters for a while thanks to its amazing central location and civilized, often deco-style houses. It's a lovely little residential area and a great neighborhood for families, whose touchstones are Fairfax, Pico, and Robertson.

    It has clearly come up in the world and its closeness to Beverly Hills and Century City has had a knock-on effect for the town's real estate. Still, home prices are lower than surrounding communities like Pico-Robertson, and this fact has not escaped observant Jews in search of a quietly affordable middle-class life. Many have moved west from adjacent communities into Faircrest Heights.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    This is one of the areas that's being popularized by the extension of the MetroLink—the others being Azusa and Glendora. Monrovia is tucked away amidst Arcadia, Sierra Madre, and Duarte, and it's not too far from Baldwin Park. It's an ethnically diverse area with a high African-American profile, located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. For lovers of nature, the city boasts Monrovia Canyon Park with a host of trails like Monrovia Falls. The feeling of the area is much more akin to a Southern California town than Los Angeles. 

  • 06 of 09

    Adjacent to Irwindale, Glendora and Duarte, this strongly Latino San Gabriel Valley city is another MetroLink expansion hot spot (it will be the Eastern terminus of the Foothill Extension of the Metro Gold line). Driving commuters can access the neighborhood through the I-210 freeway between the I-605 and State Route 57. Azusa boasts a fairly young population of mostly twentysomethings and rising property values.

    In 2014, it was the site of wildfires (as was neighboring Glendora). Locals have voiced concerns over the area's safety, particularly at night.

  • 07 of 09

    Located 23 miles east of Downtown LA, Glendora is again another potentially breaking area (actually a city in and of itself in LA County), in large part due to the MetroLink extension. This is a generally well-off town that boasts a top-ranking public school system viewed as one of the best in California and the US. As for crime, Glendora is considered 30 percent safer than other cities in the nation. The family-friendly city consists of many sales and office workers, professionals and managers with a strong contingent working in office support. The ethnically diverse area is sometimes referred to as the "pride of the foothills." 

  • 08 of 09

    Bordering Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Cypress Park, and Glassell Park, this neighborhood has a fascinating backstory if you're into LA spiritual lore. Before even moving to America, the renowned Indian spiritual leader Paramahansa Yogananda set up his Yogoda Satsanga Society of India and Self-Realization Fellowship here in 1917. Today, the area around the San Rafael Hills is extremely ethnic diverse, consisting of Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Caucasian and mixed-race residents. It also boasts the highest percentage of never-married males in LA County, so this could be a good place for a single lady. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Family-friendly neighborhood Mar Vista enjoys a virtually perfect geographical position adjacent to Santa Monica, Palms, Sawtelle, Venice, and Del Rey, and it's not far from the upmarket family neighborhood of Cheviot Hills. It has an exceptionally high percentage of locals with four-year degrees (42.3 percent of residents 25 and over), which is not surprising considering its educational offerings. These include public schools like Mar Vista Elementary School, as well as nearby private schools like Le Lycée Français and parochial schools like Notre Dame Academy. This area can hardly be called a bargain, but it merits a place on this list as an up-and-coming, higher-end family neighborhood.