Pristine sandy beaches, stunning ocean views, and beautiful luxury communities – you can expect all these and more in Newport Beach.
Whether you’re buying your dream beachfront home or selling a luxury property, it’s important to know how to navigate the local market. Before you embark on your home buying or selling journey, take a look at our comprehensive guide to the Newport Beach real estate market.
About Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach is one of the most exclusive and highest priced coastal housing markets in California, and for good reason. Not only is the city full of lovely beachfront properties, elegant estates, and chic island homes; it is also home to nature preserves, unparalleled ocean views, and a wealth of recreational opportunities.
A central location
Situated on the coastal center of Orange County, California, Newport Beach provides residents with direct access to a wide range of aquatic sports and recreational activities. You can also find some of the best shopping and educational opportunities in the region, such as South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island.
The city is located a few miles south of Irvine and the John Wayne Airport, and is surrounded by destination areas like Crystal Cove State Park, Costa Mesa, and Huntington Beach. Coastal communities like Lido Isle, Balboa Island, and the Balboa Peninsula are considered part of Newport Beach.
A rich history
For thousands of years, the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño people occupied the area now known as Newport Beach. Since then, the place had witnessed groundbreaking changes that led to its current stature as a prime community.
- As part of Alta California. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s mapping of the coastline in 1542 was the first written record of the Newport Beach area. In 1769, it became part of a land grant given to Don Jose Antonio Yorba I, who remained the owner throughout the Spanish and Mexican rule. It was only after the Civil War that American settlers began developing the land for ranching and shipping.
- Captain Samuel S. Dunnells’ arrival.In 1870, Captain Dunnells steered his river steamer Vaquero through upper Newport Bay, proving the bay was navigable, contrary to previous belief.
- Humble origins.In the late 1800s, the area was considered less than desirable. According to the Newport Beach Historical Society, many parts of the Harbor, Balboa, and Lido islands were considered “swamp and overflow land,” and were sold for just $1 per acre.
- A vision for a “new port.” Dunnells’ arrival gave the brothers James and Robert McFadden the inspiration to move their shipping business from the bay to the ocean front, where they built a wharf in 1888. The McFadden Wharf – now known as Newport Pier – soon became the largest and most successful business venture in Orange County, leading to an economic boom and vast residential and commercial development. After nearly two decades, this bay town was incorporated as the city of Newport Beach.
Newport Beach has gone far beyond its humble origins, but the city never forgot its roots. Despite its development into one of the most coveted coastal residential areas in the state, you can still get glimpses of its long history in landmarks like the Balboa Pavilion, Old Landing, the Rendezvous Ballroom, and the Site of First Water-to-Water Flight at the Ocean Front in Balboa.
Newport Beach real estate
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a veteran property investor, it pays to know the local real estate market. To help you get started, here’s a brief guide on buying and selling homes in Newport Beach:
Real estate market overview
Newport Beach properties have some of the highest appreciation rates in the country. Home values here have increased by 91.61% over the last decade, with an average annual home appreciation rate of 6. 72%. This places Newport Beach in the top 20% of the highest appreciating communities in the United States, and makes it one of the best long-term real estate investments you can make.
Short-term investors can also find great investment opportunities in this coastal city. For example, between 2021 and 2022 alone, Newport Beach home prices rose by 24.6%, with a median price of $3 million.
In the Newport Beach real estate market, luxury properties and single-family homes can list for as high as $69,800,000. In a highly desirable coastal area where waterfront real estate is limited, large properties with lot sizes of around 15,500 square feet come at a premium.
Moreover, you can expect upscale home features such as elegant custom architecture, floor plans with sun-filled spaces, and unobstructed views. You can also enjoy round-the-clock gated security and access to world-class amenities like championship golf courses and white-glove clubhouse services.
Architecture then and now
Given its rich history and beautiful location, Newport Beach has been the site of trendsetting residential developments and the best of Southern California’s architectural movements in the last few decades – all of which are largely instrumental in defining Newport Beach real estate today:
- California Midcentury Modern. This architectural style revolves around simplicity, clean lines, and the connection between the indoors and the outdoors, highlighting the best part of living in Newport Beach. Open floor plans, post-and-beam construction, the extensive use of glass, and wide windows and entryways between rooms and the outdoors maximize Newport Beach’s paradisical climate and natural landscapes.
- Italianate and Mediterranean architectural influences. In many exclusive communities, such as Pelican Hill and Crystal Cove, you’ll find grand estates with Italianate- and Mediterranean-inspired architecture. While this can be attributed to California’s history of Spanish settlement, it is also brought about by the Mediterranean Revival in the 1920s and 1930s, which best fit the romantic climate and landscape of coastal California. The sun-loving aspects of these architectural styles – such as earth-based materials and colors, elegant courtyards, stuccoed walls, shady arcades, and arched windows – define these homes.
- Sustainable coastal homes. Many of modern society’s concerns about the availability of resources and the environment are reflected in newer homes in Newport Beach. Green architecture has become more and more popular over the years, especially as homeowners become more environmentally conscious. Throughout the city, there’s a growing emphasis on energy-efficient air circulation using shaded pathways, oversized windows, landscaping with natural vegetation, and alternative renewable energy power sources like solar power.
Buying a luxury home in Newport Beach
In the highly competitive Newport Beach real estate market, buying your dream home requires good preparation. This guide can help you get started on the right foot.
- Apply for a mortgage pre-approval. As Newport Beach is currently in a seller’s market, offers from buyers who are not pre-approved for a mortgage are rarely considered. With this in mind, the first step to buying a home in the city is to get mortgage pre-approval. Not only will this give you a more accurate picture of your budget, but it will also show the seller that you are serious about buying a home.
- Know what you want in a home. Time is of the essence when it comes to making an offer on a Newport Beach property. Homes can sell fast, leaving buyers with a short window to make their final decision. One way you can avoid losing out to more motivated buyers or making haphazard choices is to prioritize your needs versus your wants. By doing this, you can significantly cut down on the time spent in searching for properties and in deciding to make an offer.
- Be strategic with your offer. Once you’ve found the perfect Newport Beach home, come up with an offer strategy with the help of your Realtor. One way to make your offer stand out is by bidding at or above the listing price. You may also consider waiving certain contingencies or special requests for a faster closing.
If you work with luxury real estate specialists, you can utilize their in-depth local market knowledge and wide professional network to help you find great off market options with less competition. Coupled with an offer that’s hard to refuse, this can be a winning strategy in getting your dream home fast.
- Have a competitive edge. Be prepared to negotiate hard. In a seller’s market like we are seeing today in Newport Beach, it’s ideal to make the deal as convenient as possible for the seller. One example is to be flexible with the closing date to align with their desired timeline. If they’re still looking for a new home, you can offer a leaseback agreement or any other arrangement that can help make the transition easier for them. Offering these benefits can give you an edge over the competition.
Selling a luxury home in Newport Beach
If you’re looking to sell your Newport Beach home, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be clear about your priorities. There are many good reasons to sell a home. You may have to make the move for your career or your children’s schooling. Perhaps you want a change in lifestyle, or wish to reap the fruits of a great investment. Whatever your motivation to sell, it’s important to focus on these priorities, particularly as they relate to timing.
Do you need to move out and be in your new home by a certain date? Or do you want to focus on getting the best price for your home, no matter how long it takes? Being clear with your goals and your ideal timeline is crucial in crafting the right listing and marketing strategy for your home.
- Work with an expert Realtor. Choosing the right Realtor who can address your needs and meet your home selling goals is an important step. Getting referrals from family, friends, and other people you trust is the best way to find a real estate professional who’s the right fit for your needs. But it’s also crucial to look at reviews and feedback on potential Realtors. Go over their websites to make sure they have the right experience in Newport real estate. Consult with Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists or real estate teams that can provide a full-service luxury home selling experience.
- Market your home the right way. A custom marketing plan is an integral part of a successful sale, and a good Realtor will know how to best promote your home to the right buyers. An effective marketing strategy often includes staging your home to highlight its best features, adding fresh paint, and landscaping to improve curb appeal. Give your home maximum exposure on listing sites that cater to high end buyers. Press releases, open houses, and online marketing campaigns may also be effective in reaching the right buyers.
- Go through escrow. Once you’ve received and accepted an offer on your Newport Beach home, the process goes to escrow. The escrow company is a neutral holding company who will keep the buyer’s deposit and other cash payments until closing.
During the escrow period, home inspections, title searches, and appraisals are conducted by licensed professionals, who will assess your home for any structural damage, land title history, and true market value, respectively. Your Realtor will coordinate with other professionals involved in these processes to ensure a smooth closing.
Newport Beach, CA neighborhoods
Finding your new home in Newport Beach starts with looking for the right neighborhood that best matches the lifestyle you want.
These are some of your choices:
Located near the center of the Newport Beach business and shopping district, Big Canyon affords residents with convenient proximity to the best restaurants, malls, art exhibits, and entertainment in the city. It is also home to an elite 18-hole golf course and the highly exclusive Big Canyon Country Club.
Built in the early 1970s, Big Canyon is made up of three residential developments: Broadmoor Homes, Big Canyon Deane, and Big Canyon McLain. Real estate here consists mostly of luxury single-family homes with features such as chef-grade kitchens, extensive outdoor living areas, and in-ground pools or Jacuzzis. Aside from breathtaking golf course views, homeowners also have the benefit of round-the-clock security.
Bayshores is one of Newport Beach’s best waterfront communities. Situated right along the coast, Bayshores features 24/7 guard-gated security, two private beaches, two yacht marinas, a community dock, and a community children’s park. Its location near the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) also allows an easier commute to other cities along the coast of California and within Orange County.
Bayshores provides the ultimate tranquil coastal lifestyle that Newport Beach is famous for. Some of the single-family homes in this community are bayfront properties with private docks, while others are only a short walk away from private beaches. As a well-established community, it features homes ranging from small cottages to new construction.
Crystal Cove is the perfect coastal community for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled across the street from the Pacific Ocean, the neighborhood is adjacent to the Crystal Cove State Park, an official California state park with 2,400 acres of canyons, a 1,400-acre marine conservation area, 400 acres of bluffs, 18 miles of riding, biking, and hiking trails, and around three miles of beaches. Crystal Cove also has its own historical district, featuring beach cottages from the 1930s.
This housing stock in this gated community consists of single-family homes and condominiums. Due to the elevation, most properties here come with unobstructed views of the coastline and the ocean. Luxury homes come in a variety of architectural styles, ranging from Mediterranean-style mansions with central courtyards to chic contemporary homes with state-of-the-art amenities and features. Residents also enjoy leisurely programs and social activities at the Canyon Club Recreational Center.
You can also find luxury homes and properties in other Newport Beach communities such as:
- One Ford Road
- Harbor Ridge
- Balboa Peninsula
- Linda Isle
- Harbor Island
- Beacon Bay
Living in Newport Beach, CA
Southern California is famous for its Mediterranean-like climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters. With 277 days of sunshine, sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and hiking are year round activities.
Newport Beach is served by the top-ranking Newport Mesa Unified School District. This school district includes Corona Del Mar High School and Newport Harbor High School, both of which are known for their high test scores and student enrichment. Private educational institutions like Pacifica Christian High School, Carden Hall, Harbor Day School, and Sage Hall School are also located within and near Newport Beach.
Things to do
- Spend every day at the beach. There’s a beach for every occasion in Newport Beach. Balboa Peninsula’s beach, for example, is known as one of the best urban beaches in the United States. Corona del Mar State Beach is also a favorite among beachgoers. If you prefer a more tranquil beach experience with some adventures, Crystal Cove Beach is the perfect place to go for scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking.
In addition to all these, you can take morning strolls around the Balboa Pier and the Newport Beach Pier, go body surfing or parasailing at The Wedge, rent a famous Duffy Boat at the Balboa Fun Zone, or kayak around the Upper Newport Bay.
- Enjoy a little retail therapy. There’s a wealth of shopping experiences to be had at Newport Beach. Walk around the historic and charming Fashion Island or visit Balboa Island’s eclectic Marine Avenue. For convenient grocery and shopping needs, head on over to Fashion Island or the renowned South Coast Plaza.
- Learn something new.Newport Beach isn’t just about hanging out at the beach. Art enthusiasts and culture lovers will find an impressive book collection and awe-inspiring bucolic gardens at the Sherman Library and Gardens, where visitors can go on a garden tour, learn about impressionist art, or sample French-Californian cuisine at Café Jardin. The city is also home to the Orange County Museum of Art, which houses rotating exhibits and a permanent art collection of works from contemporary California artists.
Work with an expert in Newport Beach real estate
With over 25 years of experience in luxury real estate, Georgina Jacobson and her team of luxury real estate specialists can ensure that your homebuying or selling journey in Newport Beach is smooth and stress-free. We can also help you find or sell properties in Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, and Corona Del Mar.
We are recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top real estate teams in Orange County. When you work with the Georgina Jacobson Group, you can rest assured you are in expert hands. We are committed to provide you with a seamless real estate experience and make sure you achieve your goals.