The Malibu real estate report


Malibu properties have risen in value in recent years from the hundreds of thousands to the millions.

Real estate is about numbers. In the end, it is the value that counts. There may be a nicely remodeled bathroom, a water feature in the courtyard and an ocean view that takes in four islands on a clear day, but the price is the key thing.

For the longest time, Malibu prices tended to be in the five-nine range. That is, most homes sold for $500,000 to $900,000. It was only 1997 that the median price of a house sale was $755,000. Some houses went in the sixes, the better ones were more than nine.

Today it is all about millions. The price tag on the majority of listings has gone from five-nine to one-four. That is, in millions dollars. The median sale is more than $2 million, three times higher than eight years ago, and most homes range between $1 million and $4 million in asking price.

The following are a small, random sample of yet another robust year in local sales during the past six months:

In Malibu West, one of four sales so far this year was typified by a house of four bedrooms on about one-third acre that sold for $1,450,000. The February sale involved a home near the back of the canyon, though walking distance to the beach club.

An estate on Point Dume with ocean view and a backyard walk to the sand sold for $6.3 million. The property is gated, with about an acre. The pool area has lush landscaping and features an enclosed “tiki bar” with bamboo floors and walls. The home has three bedrooms, two of which are master suites.

A four-bedroom Tuscan-style home in the La Costa Hills has sold for about $3.5 million. The home has unobstructed panoramic ocean views. Six homes have sold in the neighborhood this year, though none ever higher than this one, which features lots of patio space outside and a home theater inside.

In Malibu Pacifica, a gated area of Latigo Canyon, a newer home closed escrow a few weeks ago just above $3.1 million. With five bedrooms and five baths, the John Kilbane-designed home sits on two acres with mountain and ocean views. A more modest Latigo sale involved a 2001-built house that traded for $1,095,000, having three bedrooms and a kitchen with granite countertops.

A fixer home in Malibu Park got full price at $1.9 million. It has two acres, almost all usable, and some ocean view. A gated section of Malibu Park saw a sale at $4.3 million in March. The stunning estate is practically new, with limestone counters and floors. Spacious throughout, the Mediterranean home has great ocean views and an infinity pool.

It has been a booming year so far on the beach. A house on Latigo Shore with 115 feet of frontage sold for an undisclosed price, though list price was nearly $10 million. The contemporary home with high ceilings was on the market only briefly before it sold.

At least 30 properties have already sold this year on the beach or bluff for in excess of $5 million. Perhaps we may be back to five-nine sooner than expected.

Among them was a magnificent Paradise Cove estate that sold in the $25 – 30 million range. The white Cape Cod style home has dark hardwood floors throughout and sits on a bluff above 278 feet of sandy beach. A golf cart can take you down to the beach, below three acres of mostly manicured lawns. Besides the master, there are three guest suites and two maids bedrooms. There is a long lap pool in the back yard surrounded by grass.

Three homes on La Costa Beach have sold, two of them in the $10 million range (and one townhouse has brought over $3 million). One of the big sales involved a home on 60 feet of beach with a unique architectural style built in 1996. The home has a pool. The floors are primarily teak wood and there are four bedrooms.

Three homes have sold on the landside of Malibu Colony, two of them around $4 million and the other over $6 million. The latter has five bedrooms and gardens full of flowers on the outside, as well as a pool and spa. The two-story home was remodeled with several French doors and limestone counters.

In the far western hills of Malibu, a small house has sold for $790,000, lowest-priced sale of the year. It has three bedrooms on five acres.

In Corral Canyon, an ocean view house sold way above its asking price, finally closing at about $1,050,000. It is a Cape Cod, in the upper part of the canyon. In El Nido, two remodeled homes on two lots combined into one property and sold for $1,350,000, including a flat grassy play yard and hacienda style. Another Corral Canyon home sold slightly higher than last year’s price, this time at $1,340,000. The home is in a gated property of about one-quarter acre and was mostly remodeled.

A large home in the gated neighborhood across from Geoffrey’s has sold for $5 million. It has seven bedrooms on over an acre with a pool. The grounds include botanical gardens, koi ponds, and fountains, as well as large outdoor entertainment areas.

A deal that closed in May involved an estate that sold at full price: $3,950,000. The property was completely redone in country ranch style and includes three homes. It is gated also, on Point Dume, and last sold in 2002 for less than half this year’s price.

Rick Wallace of the Coldwell Banker company has been a Realtor in Malibu for 17 years. He can be reached at his web site,