It's Buyer's Market for Orange County Mansions
Dec. 29, 1995
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Forget the after-Christmas sales at the mall. The big bargains these days are the mansions along Orange County's canyons and picture-perfect coastline.
Thanks to the county's bankruptcy and other factors, mansions have lost a third or more of their value.
The rock-bottom prices, together with low interest rates, have spurred an increase in mansion sales.
The number of deals jumped 27 percent in 1995, when 278 homes were sold for more than $1 million, according to Dataquick information systems in La Jolla.
``People out there are swooping in to get the deal of a lifetime while they can,'' said Dataquick analyst John Karevoll. ``There are some great bargains now in Orange County.''
The most expensive home ever sold in the county is now on the market. The Newport Beach estate was owned by Hong Kong businessman George Yao, who bought it in 1991 for $13.8 million but lost it to foreclosure in June.
The limestone mansion, which boasts 46 sets of French doors and has a view of John Wayne's old estate, is listed for $8.9 million.
Earlier this year, a hilltop estate once owned Ross W. Cortese, developer of the Leisure World retirement complex, sold for $5 million after being on the market for two years at $7.5 million.
The most expensive estate on the market is Pacific Reflections, a mahogany-clad house on a Laguna Beach cliff. A rotating bed allows its occupants to gaze at the stars through a domed ceiling. If met, the asking price would set a record: $16.5 million.
A Tustin Hills home, formerly owned by retail executive Mike DeAngelo, is on the market for $9.9 million, down from $22 million six years ago. The 10-bedroom, 13-bath mansion featured on ``Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'' has a disco room with a fog machine and a hair salon.