Malibu Sales Volume Heading for Smash Record

Malibu real estate report predicts record home sales in Malibu this year.

Malibu real estate will have its greatest year ever in 2017. It is a foregone conclusion. Even with the year not half over, you can lock it in. By more than one measurement, a new smash record year is virtually certain.

Through May, the volume of sales thus far locally has been nearly $700 million. The previous yearly record was just short of $1.2 billion in 2015. At the current pace, we may see a new standard set by October.

There is a primary reason for this: Already in 2017, five sales have topped the very highest sale of all of 2016. That is, at least once every month this year, a blockbuster deal has sent the volume tally soaring. Those five sales will be highlighted herein, but first note this stunning comparison: In all of 2009, all the sales in Malibu added up to a total of $421 million volume. Just five sales through the early part of this year have accounted for $277 million alone.

The grandest of all sales, of course, and the new record-setter for Malibu, was the celebrity compound sold on Carbon Beach for $85 million. The transaction was outside the Multiple Listing Service, made in secret, but the dollar information is clear in public records. $85 million for a beach house.

Of course, it is one of the preeminent beach homes in the world, even if it sits on a modest 180 feet of sand (quite wide by Malibu standards, microscopic compared to other world beachfront acreages). The property was once five different beach homes, gradually all acquired and converted into one estate with two guesthouses, a theater and the mandatory oceanfront pool.

Off the beach, a new record-buster has occurred on an estate ,that previously set off-beach records twice. It is the distinctive, large Mediterranean estate on 16 acres that sits directly above the Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach, ensconced in Serra Retreat. After a new threshold was set with its sale in 2006 at just over $30 million, it sold last year in a quiet deal at $33.5 million. 

2017 sale price: $65 million.

Last year saw only two properties fetch $20 million or more (for single-family, one- to four-unit homes in the 90265 zip code); there have already been a record seven such transactions in Malibu this year.

This sort of bonanza happens in Malibu every few years. Suddenly, previous price lids are blown off. The rest of the market is happily dragged along, as price levels at every tier find new numbers previously unthinkable.

Another vital statistic is the sudden change in the median price. Through five months, the 84 known sales in Malibu have been at a median $355 million. That would finally top the 2008 record — smash it, in fact — and represent a greater than 10-percent increase from prices last year, if the trend holds. 

The median demonstrates that the whole spectrum of Malibu prices is boosting. Nevertheless, it is the high end that really tells the tale. Already, 16 sales have topped $10 million this year; the record of 26 last year will also likely be surpassed.

Among the other deals that have already exceeded all of last year’s two largest sales (which included the aforementioned 16-acre estate, nabbing $33.5 million, and a Point Dume bluff property, scoring $27 million), have been estates in the Malibu Colony, on Paradise Cove bluffs and one other on Carbon Beach.

The Colony home sold for $36 million and features a pedigree of several celebrity owners from the past. It sits on 69 feet, the largest lot on the tight Colony Beach, and has a pool. The price sets a new record for the Colony.

On Paradise Cove, a mega-deal of $38.5 million traded on a property that had sold last in 2012 for $13 million. It sits on two-and-a-half acres, with two guest houses.

A home on Carbon Beach briefly held a new record at $48 million, trading in late March, until it was topped by the record-setter described above. The five-bedroom home also has a pool. 
All five deals topping $35 million went down in secrecy. None were actively listed in the local Multiple Listing Service, but all are confirmed in public records. Only one of the seven $20-million-plus sales this year has actually been via the MLS — a famous Broad Beach property originally listed at $57 million in 2013 and includes an eye-catching acre-and-a-half on the sand and 11,000-square -foot home with tennis court (with 160 feet of beach frontage). Final sale price was about $24.5 million.

Malibu keeps advancing in value, exponentially compared to the rest of the state. Spring 2017 brings an expansion of the envelope. For those keeping score at home, the $85 million deal means that somebody was willing to pay more than $40,000 for every inch of sand frontage, a far cry from when Frederick Rindge bought all of Malibu in 1892 for $10/acre.