Laguna Beach spec home breaks a price per foot record

At nearly $44M, the price for the newly constructed beach mansion works out to $8,733 a square foot

Tim Smith and 66 Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach (Toby Ponnay, Getty)
Tim Smith and 66 Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach (Toby Ponnay, Getty)

UPDATED: 11:50 A.M., AUG. 18

A more than 4,900-square-foot house at 66 Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach sold for $43.5 million, or $8,733 per square foot. The price was a record breaker on a per-square-foot basis for a newly constructed house in Orange County, said listing agent Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker Realty.

Smith contended the recent sales in newly constructed homes following it most closely were a $6,000-per-square-foot sale in another part of Laguna Beach and a $5,000-per-square-foot sale in Newport Beach. The Wall Street Journal broke news on the sale of 66 Emerald Bay.

Built by David Wojtaszek of Divita Builders, construction wrapped up around May when the house was listed. The deal for the five-bedroom, 10-bathroom house closed Aug. 12. Tad Baltzer of Triibe Real Estate represented the buyer, according to the Redfin listing site. The buyer’s identity was not revealed.

In fact, Smith said that he never met the buyer. The privacy-obsessed buyer made a request to tour the house solely accompanied by the buyer’s agent.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) don’t hold up. Someone always makes a leak,” Smith said. “It’s the first time in my career where I did not meet the buyer.”

While 66 Emerald Bay was listed for $48.9 million, Smith recalls telling his clients that they would get $41.5 million to $42 million for the home. They accepted an offer for $43.5 million. Smith said that a higher offer came in later, but they were already bound by the $43.5 million deal.

Designed by C.J. Light Associates, the house’s amenities include a temperature-controlled wine wall, a spa, an outdoor shower, as well as a screening room which can seat more than eight people.

While Smith believes that prices for Orange County mansions eventually will rival prices in the wealthier enclaves of Los Angeles, he also forecasts that he won’t see big sales for newly constructed spec homes in the near future. Costs for labor and materials for new houses skyrocketed during the pandemic. The surging costs put reins on building new homes, Smith said.

Correction: A previous version of this story indicated the sale of 66 Emerald Bay set multiple price records; to clarify, it set the record for a newly built house in Orange County.

Read more

Michael Gray and 309 Via Lido Soud (Hoag Hospital, Coldwell Banker via Toby Ponnay)
Los Angeles
St. John Knits scion seeks high-water mark on Newport Harbor manse
Compass' Aaron Kirman and Weston Littlefield with 46 Deep Sea (Compass, Juwan Li)
Los Angeles
Newport Coast mansion put on market for $62M
(The Oppenheim Group)
Los Angeles
Netflix to follow Oppenheim Group south for “Selling the OC”