What’s not to love about Newport Beach, California? It has miles of gorgeous sandy beaches that sun worshippers constantly rave about, titan waves that only the bravest surfers dare to challenge, and an entire breadth of outdoor activities and family-friendly gigs offered by its location facing the Pacific Ocean.
Urbanites will find an endless selection of dining and retail options – from world-class shopping to quaint neighborhood dessert shops – as well as a vibrant nightlife scene. It comes as no surprise that this coastal city found south of Orange County is not only a strong tourist magnet but also an ideal place to live and play.
All these make real estate in Newport Beach among the most expensive and highly coveted not only in the Golden State but in the rest of the country. Find out what makes this dynamic SoCal city a thriving business and investment hub and why you should consider Newport Beach for your next luxury real estate investment.
NEWPORT BEACH: WHERE THE GOOD LIFE IS DEFINED BY SUN, SEA, AND SUR
No other place defines California-style luxury and pleasure better than Newport Beach. Residents and visitors relish the myriad experiences to be had in the area. There’s water everywhere – from the stretch of beach facing the open sea on Balboa Peninsula to the network of waterways leading to the Back Bay or what is known formally as the Upper Newport Bay State Marine Conservation Area. Crystal Cove Park borders its southern flank, beyond which is the equally enchanting city of Laguna Beach.
Newport Beach’s coastline: the primary attraction
The sandy shoreline of Newport Beach is the stuff of legends, especially the area by the mouth of the peninsula. Aptly named The Wedge, this part of the coast sees swells reaching heights of up to 30 feet and has been deemed unsafe for the regular swimmer or surfer.
But the rest of Newport Beach’s roughly 10-mile stretch of coastline opens up a wide variety of options for outdoor and adventure lovers. There’s fishing, whale-watching, yachting, paddle boarding, and other activities. And even if you choose to remain on land, the local attractions never fail to impress.
Location and accessibility
Some of Orange County’s most developed cities surround Newport Beach so it’s easy to hop from place to place. Sharing the same Pacific coastline with Newport Beach are Laguna Beach to the south and Huntington Beach to the north.
Inland, you’ll find Irvine – a college town and rising tech hub in Orange County bordering the city to the east. North of Newport Beach is Costa Mesa, with its exciting dining, retail, and entertainment scene. Of particular interest is Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza – one of the largest shopping centers in the US, boasting more than 280 establishments in over 2.8 million square feet of space.
Getting around Newport Beach is easy, especially in busy West Newport Beach where much of the commercial and recreational activities in the city happens. The area is highly walkable and many of the residents also opt to bike.
Traveling to Newport Beach is also a breeze, with John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana being only around 8 miles (approximately 12 minutes) away. For those who choose to commute, there are some bus routes that go through the city but the best way to go around is by car. The Pacific Coast Highway is the main artery linking Newport Beach’s neighborhoods and adjoining OC coastal cities. Of course, Newport Beach also offers the option to travel by sea, as seen in the crowded public marinas and the bustling Newport Beach Harbor.
The locals: Newport Beach’s most precious resource
Everywhere in Newport Beach, you’ll feel a fresh, energetic vibe. That’s because a sizable chunk of the city’s 84,000-strong population is composed of young, single, and highly educated individuals, many of whom are strongly career-oriented but are up for fun and recreation.
Residents in Newport Beach are used to the onslaught of tourists in the city, especially during the summer months when sweltering temperatures drive people to the beach. It’s not uncommon to find a friendly face and a helping hand, even among strangers.
The sense of community here is strong and has been that way for generations. In fact, throughout its history, it’s the Newport Beach community that pushed forward to make this beautiful coastal city the tourist attraction and real estate gem that it is now.
Transformation from swampland to posh destination
There was a time when the area that is now Newport Beach was considered no man’s land. The terrain itself wasn’t exactly welcoming – the bay was quite shallow and the waters at its entrance were too rough and treacherous to traverse. Real estate cost a measly $1 an acre – a reasonable price for what was described as “swamp and overflow land.”
In the late 1800s, a huge steamer with Capt. Samuel Dunnells at the helm managed to successfully navigate the rough waters of Newport Bay. The vessel and its crew were given a warm welcome by the McFadden brothers and James Irvine – the local landowners during that time. This became the turning point in Newport Beach’s development, as the McFaddens – having found confidence that there was a way to navigate the bay – decided to build a wharf which they later moved to the oceanfront.
A lot of dredging happened, giving rise to the islands that now form part of Newport Beach. Lots were sold on the islands and a “surf line” was built by Pacific Electric Land Co. from Long Beach to the peninsula’s coastline.
A huge milestone in Newport Beach’s growth was its incorporation in 1906. As a new city, Newport Beach saw a boom in real estate, with many properties purchased by affluent families looking to build their vacation homes. After military engineers built jetties at the mouth of the bay to protect the harbor, Newport Beach cemented its status as a “pleasure port” rather than a commercial port.
From a dollar an acre in the 1800s, properties in Newport Beach are now sold at the $2-million price point, with price tags going into the $70millions. Some of the most expensive properties are located on Newport Beach’s islands. This is definitely a far cry from a former local official’s description of the city’s man-made islands as a “dump…sold by a lot of damn crooks to a lot of damn fools.”
OWNING LUXURY: WHY IT MAKES SENSE TO INVEST IN NEWPORT BEACH REAL ESTATE
In Newport Beach today, you are not likely to find “damn fools.” Instead, you’ll meet long-time residents who were instrumental in uplifting the city’s status. Newer residents are individuals and families drawn by the high quality of life that Newport Beach offers.
There are also forward-looking business people who saw handsome returns from investing in Newport Beach luxury real estate. If you’re looking to invest in properties in Orange County, these locals are sure to recommend Newport Beach.
Here are several reasons why putting your money in Newport Beach luxury real estate is an idea worth considering.
Whether you’re looking down from San Joaquin Hills, strolling by the shores of the Back Bay, walking along the Newport Beach Boardwalk, boating just a few miles from the peninsula, or chowing down on frozen chocolate-covered bananas on Balboa Island, you’ll be greeted by scenic vistas all around. The community of Newport Beach made sure to preserve much of the area’s natural coastal setting while allowing the city to prosper as a pleasure seaport.
High tourist arrivals
In addition to a plethora of water-based activities, Newport Beach also has a rich historical and cultural heritage that you can experience in the city’s numerous festivals, events, and attractions. All these, plus clear skies for most of the year and a wide array of natural and commercial attractions, tourists from California and beyond come to the city in droves, numbering around 20,000 to 100,000 daily. Naturally, many of these tourists look for lodging with an authentic California feel and the comfort of a home away from home.
A perfect place for rentals
Newport Beach has no shortage of hotels and resorts that are open to visitors for the duration of their stay. But many guests prefer to stay in a place that offers them the same comfort, luxury, and privacy of their homes and gravitate toward Newport Beach luxury real estate rentals. These visitors don’t mind paying top dollar for the top-of-the-line amenities and superior privacy that luxury rentals provide. As an investor, you stand to benefit from more-than-ample passive income from this niche market, provided that you maintain your rental in tip-top condition.
Stable local economy
In 2020, the pandemic brought tourism – the primary driver of Newport Beach’s economy – to a halt. Thankfully, the city’s other industries (financial services, tech, real estate, healthcare, and others) kept the economy intact. By 2021, tourists started trickling into the city again. Fast forward to 2023 and Newport Beach is thriving in the post-pandemic era. The throngs of tourists are back, keeping the city more alive than ever. That’s why there’s no better time than now to invest in luxury real estate in Newport Beach to cash in on the tourist arrivals.
Strong demand for luxury real estate
Without a doubt, Newport Beach is considered a playground for the rich and famous. Real estate here is highly sought-after, especially since most properties are found near a body of water. Homes further inland are just as attractive, offering stunning hillside views or great access to golf courses or shopping and retail destinations. Many are found in gated communities that provide utmost privacy and security.
Newport Beach boasts a reputation as an upscale lifestyle destination that constantly attracts affluent home buyers looking to live the good life, whether on the peninsula, the areas by the Back Bay, or on the islands.
A stable investment
Many market analysts and observers have been warning of a looming downturn in the economy that’s bound to be felt in all sectors, including real estate. This is especially true for standard real estate where properties are usually bought using conventional loans.
Moreover, the frenetic buying spree that characterized the pandemic when interest rates were at their lowest resulted in a huge spike in home values. These are now things of the past, however, and analysts say a correction is due.
It’s a different story with luxury real estate. High-end homes are of interest to people with the means to buy in cash instead of using a mortgage. Thus, fluctuations in interest rates are not likely to affect this market.
In addition, with real estate being one of the most stable assets in a financial portfolio, today’s smart investor will want to buy into luxury real estate – especially in a high-profile area like Newport Beach – to act as a hedge against the volatility of other financial instruments more likely to be affected by economic conditions.
There’s no other way but up in terms of value when you invest in real estate, more so, in luxury real estate. While a high end home will have you digging deeper into your finances, in the long run, the rewards are greater than the ROI for standard real estate, whether you invest in a primary home, a vacation getaway, or a rental.
Buying into a lifestyle
When you buy a luxury home, you’re not simply buying a structure that serves as a place to rest – you’re also buying into the upscale lifestyle that comes with it. Buying a home in Newport Beach means you have achieved your financial goals and are ready to enjoy the good life. Your luxury home and the lifestyle it brings are your reward for years of hard work. And if you find your luxury home in Newport Beach, you’re set for a life where fun and enjoyment by the waters of the Pacific are always the order of the day.
MAKE YOUR BID FOR LUXURY REAL ESTATE IN NEWPORT BEACH WITH GEORGINA JACOBSON
Investing in Newport Beach luxury real estate is a wise move that you can benefit from for years and years. And there’s no one else who knows the community and its potential for business and leisure more than the Georgina Jacobson Group.
Allow me, Georgina Jacobson,and my team to provide you with the highest level of professionalism and white-glove service that you deserve as you embark on your real estate journey. Give us a call at 949.285.8380 or email us here to know more about the investment and real estate opportunities in Newport Beach and other coastal cities of Orange County.