Tag Archives: property

New 4-5.5% Transfer Tax for Properties Sold in the City of Los Angeles

Measure ULA, commonly known as the “mansion tax,” would impose a new “Homelessness and Housing Solutions Tax” on transfers of residential and commercial real property in the city of Los Angeles valued in excess of $5 million.

Under the measure, sales of residential and commercial real property valued at over $5 million but less than $10 million would be subject to an additional tax at the rate of 4%, while sales of properties valued at $10 million or more would be subject to an additional tax at the rate of 5.5%. The new tax would apply to the entirety of the sale value, not solely the amount in excess of the $5 million and $10 million thresholds, and regardless of whether the property is sold at a gain or a loss. The thresholds would be adjusted each year based on inflation. The tax would apply to property sales occurring on or after April 1, 2023.
The new tax would be in addition to the existing documentary transfer tax imposed on property sales in the city of Los Angeles, which is imposed at a combined city and county rate of 0.56%.

This tax will have a negative impact on property sales, especially industrial real estate sales given they are generally sold at a higher value than many other types of properties. The tax could possibly make properties in the City of L.A. less attractive to buy.

Who will end up paying the new real estate transfer tax? Below are the percentage of sales based on recent data for each property type.

  • Single-Family Residences and Condos: 2.6%.
  • Multi-Family Apartment Buildings: 6%
  • Commercial (office buildings, retail, etc.): 11%
  • Industrial: 19%
  • Other (vacant land, utilities, etc): 1.9%

Above data from An Analysis of Measure ULA, by UCLA Lewis Center.

City of Commerce 35,750 SF Building

For Sale: Great industrial concrete warehouse and manufacturing building available for a buyer to purchase. 35,750 square feet of building including roll down security shutters on all windows and 600 amps of 480 volt power. The City of Commerce in recent months passed an ordinance legalizing several types of cannabis operations in the city including cultivation (growing), manufacturing, and distribution. Don’t miss this opportunity. Whether you have applied for a cannabis permit or are simply a real estate investor wishing to lease to the industry, get in before everybody finds out about the recent allowance of marijuana operations in this city.  Contact us for a brochure on this property.

1031 Tax-Deferred Exchange Options


There is a common misconception that all tax-deferred exchanges are complicated and require all properties, relinquished and replacement, to close concurrently. Fortunately, the most common exchange variation, the delayed exchange (also referred to as a deferred or “Starker” exchange, Starker v. U.S., 602 F.2d 1341), provides Exchangers with more flexibility and options in acquiring the replacement property than the simultaneous exchange. The delayed exchange begins when the Exchanger’s first relinquished property is sold and is completed when the last replacement property is acquired within the prescribed exchange period. To provide the required notice to the relinquished property buyer(s) and the replacement property seller(s) the Purchase and Sale Contract for each property should include an “exchange cooperation”.

The standard industrial / commercial real estate purchase agreement that we use in our sale transactions in Los Angeles County has standard 1031 Exchange language. This would apply to all commercial real estate types such as retail, office, industrial, or multi-family apartment buildings.

The use of a Qualified Intermediary (also known as an “Accommodator” or “Facilitator”) is the most common method used to complete a valid delayed exchange quickly and easily. The Qualified Intermediary is an independent party to the exchange transaction, who performs the function of creating the reciprocal trade of properties for the exchange, holds the exchange funds and supplies the necessary exchange documents, such as the Exchange Agreement, Assignments and Closing Instructions. The Exchanger assigns the rights in the Sale Contract for the relinquished property and in the Purchase Contract for the replacement property to the Qualified Intermediary, who essentially becomes the “seller” of the relinquished property and the “buyer” of the replacement property. To avoid actual or constructive receipt of the exchange funds by the Exchanger the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property are held by the Qualified Intermediary until they are needed for the acquisition of the replacement property. In both simultaneous and delayed exchanges in which a Qualified Intermediary is used to create the reciprocal exchange of properties the IRS allows “direct deeding” of the relinquished property from the Exchanger to the buyer and of the replacement property from the seller to the Exchanger, thereby avoiding the necessity of the Qualified Intermediary holding title to any property. Revenue Procedure 90-34, 1990-1 C.B. 552. Direct deeding avoids the assessment of double state, county, or local documentary transfer taxes and any liability on the part of the Qualified Intermediary for environmental hazards that may exist on the property.

The Treasury Department issued Regulations in 1991 that clarified the acceptable methods to properly identify replacement property. See Treas. Regs. §1.1031(k)-1(b)-(e). First, the Exchanger must receive all replacement property within the earlier of 180 days after the date on which the Exchanger transferred the first relinquished property, or the due date (including extensions) for the Exchanger’s tax return for the tax year in which the transfer of the first relinquished property occurs. Second, the Exchanger must identify the replacement property to be acquired by the end of the Exchange Period within 45 days of the transfer of the first relinquished property. These time periods are very strict and cannot be extended even if the 45th day or 180th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The proper identification of replacement property is critical and if not made in a timely manner the exchange fails and the entire transaction is taxable. The rules are as follows: (a) the replacement property identification must be in writing and signed by the Exchanger, (b) it must be delivered by mail, fax or hand delivery to a party to the exchange transaction (usually the Qualified Intermediary) by midnight of the 45th day, (c) the replacement properties must be unambiguously described, such as by a street address, tax lot number, legal description or the like, and (d) the Exchanger may list up to three properties of unlimited value, but if more than three properties are listed, their total aggregate fair market value may not exceed 200% of the aggregate fair market value of the relinquished property. It is essential in a delayed exchange to adhere to these rules and deadlines established for identifying and acquiring the replacement property. Failure to comply with these rules may result in a failed exchange.