Sales rise for super luxury homes in Orange County

OC’s top 25 residential deals last year total $625M, an uptick of 1.3%

Sales Rise for Super Luxury Homes in Orange County
Coldwell Banker Realty’s Tim Smith with 156 Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach, 1 Shoreridge in Newport Beach and 1 Pelican Crest Drive in Newport Beach (Coldwell Banker, Google Maps, Getty)

Sales of luxury homes in Orange County ticked up last year, despite a lack of blockbuster deals.

The county’s top 25 home sales rose 1.3 percent to a combined $624.7 million last year, from $616.5 million in 2022 , the Orange County Business Journal reported

The average sale was $25 million; the slight boost in sales last year came without a single deal of more than $45 million.

Since 2020, there have been four sales north of $45 million, including $70 million paid in 2021 by hedge fund executive Joseph Edelman for a mansion  on Laguna Beach’s Abalone Point.

Last year was marked by a mixed bag of high luxury deals, according to real estate experts.

While luxury homes in Orange County cost more, fewer of them sold — with higher interest rates and low inventory to blame, brokers said. While most luxury buyers pay in cash, many stayed on the sidelines because their businesses were impacted by the higher rates.

“You only want to go to the beach when it’s sunny, and you only want to buy homes when the economy is strong,” Coldwell Banker Realty’s Tim Smith told the Business Journal.

Properties in OC over the past four years have gained global attention for their sprawling estates, proximity to beaches and high-end shopping centers. That has drawn buyers from Asia, with buyers from other states tripling or quadrupling in the last few years, Smith said.

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The top sale in the county last year was $43 million paid in an off-market deal for a 3,900-square-foot bluff-side home in Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay.

The No. 2 deal was $34 million paid for an 11,200-square-foot estate at 1 Shoreridge in Newport Beach’s Newport Coast. That deal set a record for the gated Pelican Crest.

Newport Coast dominated among the top deals last year, with seven sales from $17.8 million to $34 million. Dana Point counts five homes on the list, including three of the top five deals.

In January last year, a 13,400-square-foot Mediterranean-style estate sold for $30.6 million at 1 Pelican Crest Drive in Newport Coast. The undisclosed seller had sought $45 million.

Irvine’s highest-ever home sale, a $25 million Shady Canyon home bought by investment executive Chad Peets, was the only major inland deal.

Last year’s most popular properties all had three qualities: a newly renovated or newly built home; securitized, gated living; and ample amenities, which range from beach access to proximity to shops and dining, according to brokers.

The luxury market in OC this year is already better than last year’s. Though mortgage rates are projected to fall later than anticipated, brokers believe the market will be busier, while home prices will continue to rise.

— Dana Bartholomew

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