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Newport Coast’s Top Tier Community

Newport Coast’s priciest luxury neighborhood of Crystal Cove continues to be a record-setter, garnering the most expensive home sales this year and last.

The enclave of 700-plus homes in the hills of Newport Coast, developed by the Irvine Co., frequently acts as the source of top home sales in Orange County due to its location and supply of newer inventory.

“This submarket is essentially a community within the larger community of Newport Coast, but stands out due to its many different kinds of homes that are often newer and larger than other areas” such as Pelican Hill and Pelican Crest, notes Rex McKown of Compass.

Crystal Cove is home to the priciest home sale thus far this year—the $61 million deal for 15 Del Mar, which closed about a month ago—and last year’s $38 million sale of 28 Midsummer.

McKown and Marcy Weinstein represented the sellers in the latter deal; Steve High and Evan Corkett represented the buyer.

“When you look at average sales price, Crystal Cove is the neighborhood that consistently generates the highest prices,” said High. “This year has been extraordinary for all Orange County neighborhoods, but particularly Crystal Cove, where the highest sale of the year occurred.”

Construction

When it comes to these top-dollar deals, one word comes to mind, according to High.

“New.”

“When you look at the overall Orange County market, the real winners have been the speculative builders,” added High. “There’s never-ending demand for brand new homes, which really drives the highest price points.”

Irvine Co. is reported to have sold all of the lots within Crystal Cove, with just two vacant lots remaining to be built, McKown notes.

“Inventory is at a premium right now, especially with the active sales year we had in 2020,” McKown said.

Midsummer is an example of a street within Crystal Cove that has seen higher-than-typical construction activity, as custom and speculative builders wrap build-outs on front row streets, with development moving upward.

Front-row streets typically bring in higher prices, though a recent shift has shown that buyers may prefer new, modern build-outs than the location of the home.

Listings

There are currently 17 active listings in Crystal Cove, ranging in price from nearly $5.7 million to $35 million.

The latter listing at 1 Del Mar represents an opportunity to buy a front-row house, which still maintains its reputation as the premier Newport Coast location, notes High, though “the newer homes being built on streets like Midsummer might trump [it].”

Hanna Karcho-Polselli and Remo Polselli of Luxury Fine Homes have the listing for 1 Del Mar, a 5-bedroom, 10-bath, 11,671-square-foot home situated on multiple lots.

Looking Ahead

High projects that Crystal Cove will continue to dominate luxury pricing trends in coming years as buyers look for larger homes in lieu of ongoing remote work trends.

“I think the multi-lot houses will continue to command the highest prices in Orange County as prospective home buyers want as much space as possible,” High said.

“The appetite for land and square footage right now is insatiable.”

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