$1 million home sales hit highest level in five years

January 30th, 2013,  by 

 OC Register

DataQuick reported Wednesday that 3,631 Orange County homes sold for $1 million or more in 2012, the highest number since 2007.

That’s up 34 percent from 2011′s tally of $1 million-plus sales, compared with an increase of 17 percent for sales of all homes in the county.

Statewide, $1 million-plus sales increased 27 percent to 26,993, vs. an 8.2 percent increase for sales in all price ranges. A record number of California buyers — 7,791 or 29 percent — paid all cash for their mansions, DataQuick reported.

In addition, four Orange County ZIP codes ranked among 25 in the state with the most million-plus sales: Newport Beach’s Back Bay area (92660) had 362 $1 million-plus home sales, the report said. Laguna Beach (92651) had 307, Corona del Mar (92625) had 256 and Newport Coast (92657) had 228.

DataQuick attributed the increase in luxury sales to a recovering economy, rising home prices and a record number of cash purchases. And one local agent has said that confidence in the market has returned to high-end buyers.

“Buyers and sellers in the prestige market tend to respond to different motivations and incentives than the rest of the market,” said DataQuick President John Walsh. “Job security, down payment sizes and mortgage interest rates don’t play the same role. Returns on investments in a low interest-rate financial environment and safe-haven investing do play a role.”

Top O.C. home sales of 2012
Rank Address City Sale Date Sale Price
1 2692 Bayshore Dr. Newport Beach 9/13/2012 $22 million
2 3 Montage Way Laguna Beach 9/13/2012 $20 million
3 1 Pelican Hill Road N. Newport Coast 6/29/2012 $19.4 million
4 819 Via Lido Soud Newport Beach 8/1/2012 $18 million
5 3 Camel Point Dr. Laguna Beach 12/31/2012 $17.5 million
6 168 Emerald Bay Laguna Beach 7/5/2012 $16 million
7 103 Shorecliff Rd. Corona Del Mar 4/23/2012 $15 million
8 107 Shorecliff Rd. Corona Del Mar 2/9/2012 $14.5 million
9 40 Deep Sea Newport Coast 11/7/2012 $14.3 million
10 2529 South Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach 12/26/2012 $14 million
10 887 Cliff Dr. Laguna Beach 6/14/2012 $14 million
12 44 Blue Heron Irvine 3/5/2012 $12.8 million
13 2495 Ocean Blvd. Corona Del Mar 6/12/2012 $11.8 million
14 1604 South Bay Front Newport Beach 10/22/2012 $11 million
14 9 Avalon Vis. Newport Coast 3/8/2012 $11 million
16 1 Shell Newport Coast 2/25/2012 $10.9 million
17 1220 West Bay Ave. Newport Beach 9/29/2012 $10.5 million
18 2137 Bayside Dr. Corona Del Mar 3/30/2012 $10.2 million
19 7 Troon Dr. Newport Beach 11/13/2012 $10 million

Last year’s pace of luxury buying in Orange County was the fifth-highest of the past 12 years. The record was set in 2005 when 8,169 million-plus sales occurred.

Orange County accounted for one-fourth of all million-plus sales in Southern California’s seven counties and was second only to Los Angeles County — which has three times Orange County’s population — in million-plus sales in the region.

Orange County had at least 20 homes that sold for $10 million or more last year, the priciest of which was the waterfront home on the north edge of Newport Harbor that sold for $22 million, according to the real estate site Redfin.com. The Bayshore Drive home, which had 8,355 square feet, once belonged to actor Nicolas Cage, who sold it for a record $35 million in 2008.

The second-priciest home, located on the front row of the beachfront Montage Laguna Beach resort, sold for $20 million. The third-priciest was the 17,000-square-foot Villa del Lago mansion. The unfinished home was sold as-is during a bankruptcy court-approved auction for $19.4 million.

The most expensive confirmed purchase last year was an 8,930-square-foot, four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom home in Woodside. Built in 2005, the nine-acre property sold in November for $117.5 million.

The state’s largest million-plus home  sold last year was a 20,248 square-foot, seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom mansion in Bel Air.

At least seven California communities had minimum home prices of $1 million or more: They are Santa Monica, San Marino, Rancho Santa Fe, the Marin County town of Ross, Los Altos, Atherton and Hillsborough.

Newly-built homes accounted for 4.9 percent of last year’s $1 million-plus sales, down from 5.9 percent in 2011. Condo sales made up 9.2 percent.

The median-sized home that sold for $1 million or more was 2,641 square feet, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The median price paid per square foot for all million-dollar homes in 2012 was $641, up 5.5 percent from $607 in 2011.

For the overall California market, the square-foot median was $162 last year.

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