Home values increase more than 15 percent in 2014

The long climb back to the highest values in Malibu real estate history, set in 2008, got a big boost last year as the value of homes in Malibu increased at least 15 percent. Also, Malibu experienced its second consecutive billion dollar year, just in sales volume of homes only, within the 90265 zip code.

A $2.3 million median value in 2013 grew to $2,663,000 in Malibu during 2014, an increase of nearly 16 percent. The number of homes selling for less than $1 million was fewer than the number of homes selling for more than $10 million.

Malibu’s median sale value had peaked in 2008 at $3.3 million, only to drop to below $2.1 million when the market crashed in 2009-2011. Contrarily, the past three years have seen sales units in the 250-range, which represents a continuously healthy local real estate market.

The chart on page 30 tracks the vital statistics of Malibu real estate over the past five years, for single family homes only, excluding condos and mobile homes.

The median value is a key statistic because it authentically represents all homes within the measured area. The median is the point where half the sales are for less and half are for more. When prices of all homes are rising, or falling, it is clearly evident in the median value, and 2014 left no doubt about the strength of this market.

The average sale price, based on the 239 known sales and $1.025 billion in volume, was nearly $4.3 million, compared to about $3.8 million during 2013. There is more to that comparison, however. At the very beginning of 2013, a $74.5 million sale transacted in Malibu, the largest ever by far. Without that sale the volume would’ve been closer to $950 million in total. The 2013 average would’ve been about $3.54 million. That one huge sale boosted the average sale figure about $250,000 on its own. Taking away that deal, which greatly skewed the 2013 average upward, would’ve made for a 22 percent gain in 2014 in the average sale price rather than the increase displayed: about 13 percent.

Importantly, it was not so much an increase in beach and bluff estate sales units that drove the market during last year. It was land side homes increasing in median more than 20 percent that really provided the most strength to the market.

After being crushed during the Great Recession, statistics now display a median average that is better than 2005 ($2.5 median) but not fully to 2006 levels ($2,850,000 median). Homes that sold during the later part of 2005 and early 2006, in theory, have now regained whatever value that was lost. The march to fully recover 2008 values creeps forward. 2015 appears to offer promise.

Current inventory levels are low, even seasonally-adjusted, compared to all the years going back to 2010. Buyers are not only facing limited choices, but also values that are gradually inflating.

Perhaps two dozen sales or so secretly occurred without exposure in the MLS, and will be discovered over time. A third consecutive year of about 260 homes sold, thus, may be the final result after full revelation. The averages, however, will not alter much from those displayed here, even when recorded sale amounts are uncovered.

Malibu has had a better year of $10 million-plus transactions. That was in 2007. There were 25 deals exceeding that benchmark, compared to 19 last year. But 2014 had six deals that topped $20 million, a new record. That helped boost the average sale price above $4 million per transaction, comparable to anywhere in the world.