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OC Real Estate Specialists Predict 2015 Lux Trends

Orange County’s coastal luxury market posted a solid sales year in 2014.

We asked a panel of six prominent Orange County real estate brokers to discuss what’s coming up for 2015, and they shared the expertise, from their views on buying trends to which areas will be sizzling and why.

Tim Smith, The Smith Group

This year in the ultra high-end, we saw roughly three times the sales over $14 million that we saw in 2013. We saw the highest increase in prices in exclusive enclaves where supplies are limited.

Next year, I anticipate we will see higher demand for gated communities, construction, big views and exclusive locations. This demand will lead to continued price increases and sales volume in the luxury market.

In 2015, on-water locations will be the hottest luxury real estate. Whether beachfront, bayfront or bluff front, there is a limited supply of inventory on the coastline, especially new construction inventory.

As there is more economic uncertainty in the credit and stock market, wealthy buyers are flocking to real estate as a safe haven.

Other areas to watch are the outskirt neighborhoods that haven’t seen the same uptick as coastal Orange County in the last two years. As buyers get priced out of coastal properties, they’ll look for values in great off-water neighborhoods.

Nicole Donovan, Surterre Properties

I see a strengthening market. In the luxury home market, the spread between a home’s list and sold price is narrowing.

If the home is priced correctly, it will sell fast and near asking. Buyers will be paying what sellers ask in 2015.

Sharran Srivatsaa, Teles Properties

In Orange County’s $5 million and above market, we expect to see less volatility and more stability in 2015. The last 12 months have shown a consistent level of new inventory, turnover of existing inventory, and a stabilization in key metrics of median price and price per square foot, some of which are showing a stable or slightly upward trend. 

Tara Shapiro, HÔM Sotheby’s International

I believe that in 2015 we will see the same trend continue that we experienced in 2014, wherein we realized a record number of high-end/luxury sales across the waterfront marketplace, with several benchmark sales being achieved. This trend is consistent with other luxury markets nationally.

What I believe is driving this is the limited supply and perceived intrinsic value of such real estate. Many view the stock market as being overvalued, and waterfront real estate within our trade areas represents a safe haven for considerable monetary investment.

Azita Sadeghi, Teles Properties

Our OC coastal market remains desirable to global and national populations because of the pleasant climate we have.

When a buyer is looking for oceanfront property as a second or third home, they are choosing a lifestyle that caters to their wants and needs in the property, such as location, structure, views, privacy and decor. If they love it, they’ll buy it.

I believe there will be less investor purchases on higher-end properties in 2015, but we may see investors selling their investment properties purchased in the past few years. Overall, 2015 is going to be a great year for the Orange County real estate market.

Several standout luxury homes sold early on in December, including these:

History-Making Sale

The San Juan Capistrano estate at 30302 Malaspina Road was the highest closed sale in the history of the city, according to listing agent Suzi Dailey of HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty.

The custom home sold on Dec. 8 for $8.6 million, near its August list price of $8.9 million.

The estate, nestled on 2.7 acres, is situated above a private community lake. The main house is 11,000 square feet and includes a movie screening room, six bedrooms, two exercise rooms and nine bathrooms.

The property also includes a 2,400-square-foot guesthouse and a resort-style swimming pool with waterfalls, fire urns of lava rock, caves, small islands and hidden slides.

John Swetkovich of RE/MAX Select One represented the buyers.

Perfect Combination

The 8,400-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bath home at 7 Beachcrest in Newport Coast, situated on a nearly half-acre lot at the end of a gated entry way, provides its new owners with a high level of privacy while still affording unobstructed ocean views.

It sold on Dec. 5 for $7.8 million, off its November list price of $8.8 million.

The main floor offers a formal dining home and a home theater with seating for eight. The master bedroom retreat has walls of windows that frame the ocean view. The grounds are professionally landscaped and include tropical-style trees and flowering bushes.

Stephany Chen of Teles Properties represented the seller. The buyer’s agent was based outside of the U.S.

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