What to Expect From the Current Luxury Malibu Real Estate Market

December 13, 2022

What to Expect From the Current Luxury Malibu Real Estate Market

Secluded beaches, charming bistros, and stunning coastal views define the iconic town of Malibu. One of Southern California’s most famous neighborhoods, Malibu dazzles residents and visitors alike with its healthful, serene lifestyle and breezy beaches. Fresh seafood and azure ocean waters showcase coastal life at its finest, and Malibu is known for its air of laid-back elegance and elevated relaxation. The shoreline is soft and silky and the views are truly spectacular. Waterfront estates perch high on the cliffside, overlooking the crashing waves and pristine coastline. As one of the most coveted spots in Los Angeles, Malibu sports an incredible lineup of beachfront properties and exquisite homes. 

Malibu Beach real estate is some of the most luxurious in the world and the market has historically been competitive, pricey, and highly ambitious. While you can find cozy cottages and quaint beach bungalows, Malibu’s heart belongs to the luxury lifestyle. The estates lining the Pacific Coast Highway are magnificent. Featuring the full range of wellness amenities, Malibu properties cater to the active, healthy way of life for which this town is known. Gated communities and walled properties offer the privacy Malibu’s high-profile residents crave, while lush landscaping and private beach access complete the picture of this tropical paradise. 

The Malibu market

Malibu is in the midst of exciting growth, including the spring 2023 opening of a Santa Monica Community College campus right on Civic Center Way. The campus spans three acres and is home to plenty of amenities for students. In addition, famed architect Marmol Radziner is planning a 112,000-square-foot development that will marry Malibu’s natural beauty with retail and office spaces. Every Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., local farmers and craftspeople bring the area to life with their farmers market. Malibu is a vibrant community with plenty of upcoming opportunities for savvy investors. 

Malibu is known for classic California coastal chic and the homes here highlight the luxury of beach living. From sleek modernist designs featuring curved walls and endless windows to airy Mediterranean styles and indoor-outdoor conversion spaces, Malibu architecture is designed to embrace the balmy climate and dazzling scenery. Legendary compounds sprawl across impressive acreage, glass-walled beauties invite the lemony sun to shine in from all directions, and beachfront backyards feature infinity pools built to create a seamless blend of blues, from the sky to ocean to poolside. With this kind of luxury, it is no wonder the Malibu market is one of the most sought-after in the world. 

Malibu’s real estate history

This elite enclave enjoyed its best real estate year yet in 2021. Just a year after the pandemic hit, the Malibu real estate market recorded its most impressive numbers of all time, proving the staying power of fresh ocean air and easy access to parks and beaches. Malibu Beach homes for sale have steadily doubled in price each decade since 1970, and while the town has a complex history with inflation, real estate in Malibu has proven its worth. Malibu homes are holding their value better than ever these days, and even appreciating in value each year. 

Most real estate agents agree that the summer of 2021 brought the hottest market in Malibu, showing an increase of 153% from the year before. These astonishing numbers included luxury homes in the $30 million range, proving that the luxury market in Malibu is a force to be reckoned with. Waiting lists for luxury properties grew longer as buyers pushed their way to the front, waving cash in hand and eagerly putting in offers every chance they could. Even rentals were at full capacity and maximum price. 

The current market

Last year, like much of the country, California enjoyed strong real estate activity. In fact, to say Malibu was firmly rooted in the seller’s market territory would be a dramatic understatement. But where does this luxury community stand today? 

Part of the reason for the incredible market movement last year was a serious lack of inventory. With a multitude of buyers and only a few available properties, homes were being snapped up left and right, usually reaching top dollar thanks to multiple bids. This year, starting in January, inventory began to climb back up and sales leveled off a bit. Increased inventory did not automatically translate to more sales and the market began to see the first glimpse of balance. 

Cut to August of this year – sales had steadily slowed over the spring and summer as inventory increased and news of rising interest rates hit the market. But August brought a window of opportunity as a temporary reprieve on mortgage rates brought buyers back to cash in on the favorable lending environment. As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, the market will continue to level out – and that is exactly what the Fed is trying to accomplish. 

The rapid seller’s market of the last few years has raised concern over inflation and the Fed’s increased rate proposal intends to equalize the market to avoid an unhealthy jump in prices across the board. The good news? Malibu homes historically have appreciated, meaning even with slower sales the housing market here will retain its competitive value. And although the market hasn’t quite switched over to a buyer’s market, buyers will have more homes to choose from and will likely be more successful with winning offers than just a year ago. 

What to expect in 2023

There is no doubt about it – Malibu is special and the demand for homes here is endless. The typical Malibu beach house for sale goes for about three million dollars, with luxury properties reaching well into the tens of millions and often higher. According to market forecasts, investing in Malibu homes continues to pay off, especially house flipping, as the area is so highly coveted as both a permanent residence and vacation rental destination. 

Those buying in cash will benefit the most. As interest rate increases continue to spread out over the next few months, buyers financing their homes may be significantly affected – higher interest rates may result in higher mortgage payments, meaning the total amount a buyer can afford may be lower. However, those buyers paying in full, with no need for mortgage approval or home loans, will likely find a window wherein they can make successful offers, benefit from the increased number of homes on the market, and avoid paying extra interest.   

If you are interested in exploring Malibu Beach real estate for sale, contact the global luxury experts at The Malibu Life, Madison Hildebrand and/or Jennifer Chrisman, and begin your luxury real estate journey today.

*Header photo courtesy of The Malibu Life

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