Luxury Real Estate in California: A Glimpse Into the Future

The golden beaches of Malibu, the star-studded boulevards of Los Angeles, and the sophisticated suburban allure of Orange County have long been emblems of California's luxury real estate. But how has this landscape transformed over the past decade? An exclusive interview with a rising star in Californian real estate Brendan Brown provides invaluable insights.

"Malibu is going through interesting changes," Brendan shares, pointing out that new builds in Malibu are now often farther north than many would expect. Central hubs like Soho Malibu & Nobu Malibu remain key reference points. Los Angeles, on the other hand, contends with new challenges, from the Mansion Tax to concerns about crime. With land scarcity becoming a pressing issue, the city looks upward, embracing vertical living – a trend already popular in metropolises like New York. “LA is also out of land from these grand estates, so it's taking a cue from NYC and going vertical,"* says the agent, Brendan Brown citing luxury buildings like 8899 Beverly, The Mandarin Oriental Beverly Hills, and The Four Seasons Residences Beverly Hills.

However, Orange County, a once-suburban luxury enclave, has witnessed its own evolution. With hit shows like "The Real Housewives" setting the stage, it's drawn not only attention but also top agents from cities like LA and NYC. Today, areas such as Pelican Hill in Newport Coast reflect a shift from suburban luxury to pure, unadulterated opulence. "It’s pretty on par with the prestige of Los Angeles," Brendan claims.

A significant player in the luxury real estate game is international buyers, especially in areas like Malibu. These buyers, often seeking the sunny allure of Los Angeles, gravitate toward high-end penthouses in new builds and hotel-branded properties.

While celebrities have always made headlines with their property purchases in LA, a new trend emerges. The agent observes a 60/40 split between celebrities seeking the limelight versus those opting for privacy. The pandemic has also reshaped priorities. “Leisure and lifestyle amenities are hotter than they have ever been," Brendan says. This is evident in Malibu and Orange County, where homes offer both luxury and lifestyle in one package.

Interest rates have undeniably impacted the luxury market. With high rates, renting becomes a viable option. Brendan adds, "This is a big thing happening right now, because people don't know about the rates, the economy, and in LA Measure ULA (Mansion tax) has greatly affected sales over $5 million."

So, what's next for California's luxury market? The future appears to be vertical, especially in LA, with hotel branding becoming the hallmark of luxury living. Meanwhile, areas like Beverlywood, the Pacific Palisades, and Brentwood are touted as the next luxury hotspots. "It's Beverly Hills but with ocean views,” Brendan predicts of the Pacific Palisades, anticipating a luxury revolution in the horizon.

In the ever-evolving panorama of Californian luxury real estate, one thing remains certain: the allure of the Golden State remains as luminous as ever.

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