• Gibson International considers itself the market's first "invitation-only" brokerage.
  • Gibson and John Aaroe Group are some of the market's biggest luxury players.
  • Pacific Palisades entered this year as a standout luxury submarket.

The strength of Los Angeles’ luxury market has influenced some of the city’s most prominent luxury brokerages to expand this year.

Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com

Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com

With plans to close $1 billion in luxury sales, transactions valued at more than $3 million, Gibson International will introduce a Santa Monica office this spring and continue to grow its network of brokers.

“We also have our eye on some key luxury markets in the Valley, as well as east of Beverly Hills,” said Scott Gibson, president and CEO of the luxury brokerage.

The seven-year-old firm currently has roughly 150 agents, with offices in the luxury markets of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Marina del Rey.

Dubbing itself as Los Angeles’ first “invitation-only” brokerage, Gibson is also looking to up its marketing game. The brokerage recently appointed a new, locally-based PR firm, Murphy O’Brien Inc. The firm will be utilized to market the individual transactions of certain agents and highlight the accomplishments of the brokerage.

Gibson isn’t the only top producing luxury brokerage with an eye on expansion.

John Aaroe Group, which closed more than $2.2 billion of transactions last year, just opened a downtown Los Angeles office that will cater to the submarket’s luxury sector. The brokerage is likely to open additional offices in lower San Marino and Silver Lake in the future.

Luxury brokerages concur that downtown represents a market that is heating up.

“The areas that I find most exciting to watch in the coming months are the neighborhoods around Playa Vista driven by the tech industry expansion that’s happening there,” Gibson said. “Westchester, Del Rey and Playa del Rey are all neighborhoods that could see significant gains.”

Strength of the Los Angeles luxury market

Entering 2016, the LA luxury market was in a stronger situation than during the previous year.

According to a fourth quarter report from Sotheby’s International Realty, the city’s top five luxury markets contributed a total of 113 sales, valued at $3 million or more, compared to 97 during the same period last year.

The five markets included Pacific Palisades (28 sales), Brentwood (24 sales), Beverly Hills (21 sales), Sunset Strip (21 sales) and Beverly Hills Post Office (19 sales).

Pacific Palisades stood out, as the 28 luxury homes sold during the quarter equated to a year-over-year increase of 133 percent.

“The continuing Rick Caruso redevelopment plan for Palisades Village, coupled with many single-family home investors flowing into the market, has made Pacific Palisades one of the most consistent luxury markets,” said Frank Symons, EVP of Sotheby’s International Realty – Western Region.

Email Erik Pisor

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