Average list price of a Malibu home: $4.6 Million
By Rick Wallace/Special to The Malibu Times
Real estate begins with a basic premise: A homeowner is willing to let somebody else use their house. For an exchange of money for the deed to the home, the seller is willing to give way to another customer. The next question is: Who gets to be the next user/owner?
Often, a particular property may have hundreds or thousands of wishful potential owners. Take the large mansion on the 16-acre knoll directly above the Malibu Pier. Millions of people would want to live there. I know I am one of them.
How is it determined who gets to become the next owner of a property? The fairly obvious answer, in our good ‘ol capitalistic system: the highest bidder wins. When it is determined who is willing to pay the most, the property sells and the transfer of title to one party and money to the other party occurs. Maybe.
It doesn’t always work that way, and often the highest bid is not good enough to keep the seller willing to move on. He wants yet more money. Thus, we use a different system than a mere public auction.
Our system of real estate sales, which occupies Malibu’s largest industry, employing more than 500 people locally in one form or another, begins with the seller setting the winning bid amount. Then, not necessarily the highest potential bidder, but the first ready, willing and able bidder gets the property.
The average list price of a Malibu home for sale is $4.6 million, as of Labor Day. That is the current measurement of the demand of the average Malibu homeowner willing (or needing) to sell his home.
There are 137 total homes for sale at this writing. That excludes mobile homes and condos, and only includes single-family residences located in the Malibu/90265 zip codes. Of the 137 homes currently obtainable for a new buyer (many more are for sale and already pending a close of escrow), 12 of them have a listed price of $10 million or more.
In fact, there are now more listings for more than $25 million than listings under $1 million (by a tally of three to two). The sizeable estate above the Malibu Pier is officially listed for $35 million, tops in Malibu. It has six bedrooms, eight baths, a mini golf course, huge gate and tennis houses, a 5,000-square-foot master bedroom and pretty darn good views, among other things.
Buyers to this marketplace face intense factors that affect list prices. First, there is the passionate desire of perhaps hundreds of thousands of other citizens to live here. The fresh air, fabulous climate, uses and view of the beaches and ocean, great schools and quiet neighborhoods are but a few features in a long catalog of reasons Malibu is coveted. Second, there is but a tiny fraction of existing homes currently with willing sellers. Out of about 4,000 existing homes, 137 listed are a mere pittance.
To make up for those factors: $4.6 million. Or, if you are feeling particularly awash in spare change, $634,984,000 will get you all 137 homes at once. Paying full price, of course.
The median list price is actually lower: $3.1 million. That price, listed for a new home on Cavalleri with five bedrooms on about an acre, represents the very middle of the list. Sixty-eight homes are for sale for less; 68 homes are listed for more.
How many people can afford these prices is hard to know. The current Los Angeles County median price of a home, at just under $400,000, is only affordable to about 20 percent of households at current interest rates. It may be that Malibu has priced itself too high. Then again, the sliver of ultra-wealthy able to pay these prices has been keeping the local industry busy.
What are the most popular list prices? They are $1.695 million, $1.895 million, and $3.5 million. Each has four homes listed for such amounts. Thirty-three listings top $5 million; only 37 homes are currently below $2 million.
Rick Wallace of the Coldwell Banker Company has been a Realtor in Malibu for 17 years. He can be reached at his web site, www.RICKMALIBUrealestate.com.