Yoga on the beach anyone? Agent Chris Cortazzo is betting Malibu, Calif.’s famed yoga, surfing, flip-flop culture will entice a deep-pocked buyer to pony up for a new construction he is listing there. “Our lifestyle is outside. You could be in London and have a beautiful place, but if you can’t just be outdoors in a t-shirt and flip-flops, it’s a whole different lifestyle,” says Cortazzo of Coldwell Banker. “There’s sophistication to it, but also a casualness.”
Not casual? The home’s $57.5 million price tag.
The median sale price for a single-family home in Malibu was $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to appraiser Miller Samuel, up 14.3% year-over-year. Sales volume was up 20%, while inventory was flat. The local average price per square foot was $1,061.
At over 8,000 square-feet, the home is near three times the size of the typical home build in America today. However, it is small for the price tag. At more than $7,000 per square foot, the home is asking more than five times the local average for homes sold and 50% higher than the per square foot price of the most expensive Malibu sale for which that figure is known.
Such sky-high per square foot asks are more common in Manhattan, where the average is $1,778 but the top 10% of the market averages $3,157. Manhattan’s highest price ever achieved–$100.47 million for a 10,923 square foot penthouse–worked out to about $9,200 a square foot.
Malibu’s highest ever sale closed in early May, when billionaire David Geffen sold a compound on the opposite side of town for $85 million. Public records do not show that home’s size either. The previous record, set in 2013, was $75 million. At about 20,000 square feet, that home went for $3,750 a square foot.
The ask is high, but the never-lived in home is a beauty.
The build was completed last year and the Cape Cod-inspired compound hit the market in January. The main home has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and one half-bath. A separate guest house has an additional bedroom and bathroom. Situated on 1.72 acres the home boasts panoramic ocean views and beach access. There’s also a 70 by 25 foot pool and an outdoor pizza kitchen. “It’s just completely luxurious, and it’s ready to have a large party,” says Cortazzo.
Public records shield the identity of the owner of 33740 Pacific Coast Hwy. Cortazzo will not disclose the owner, but says it was built to sell. The current owner bought the property from Marta Kauffman, co-creator of the sitcom “Friends,” in 2007 for $10.7 million.
There are at least three more expensive properties publicly on the market in the beach-enclave right now. One house, located less than a mile away at 33218 Pacific Coast Hwy, is asking $60 million. A vacant plot is also asking $60 million. And a newly constructed modernist mansion recently listed for $80 million.
Cortazzo thinks Malibu is just getting started, “I’ve never been so busy. I think people are understanding the value of Malibu, the lifestyle that Malibu has to offer, and it is really exciting to see it kick in.” He claims buyers who in the past would have bought in the Hamptons–New Yorkers’ favorite high-end beach getaway–are now looking to Malibu.
Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel offers a different perspective: “Is Malibu having a moment? I feel like what it is doing is benefiting from some of what we are seeing at the high end of the market [nationally]. We are seeing more sellers becoming in sync with market conditions which leads to more sales.”