Malibu Real Estate Crowned America's Priciest

A four-bedroom, two-bath home in Malibu.
A four-bedroom, two-bath home in Malibu.
 Courtesy Coldwell Banker Previews International

This story first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

The country's most expensive residential real estate market? That would be Malibu.

According to the 2013 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Home Listing Report, published Nov. 6, the average listing price for a four-bedroom, two-bath property in the beachside community is $2.15 million. (The most affordable market is Cleveland, where similar homes average $63,729.) In 2012, Malibu didn't even make the survey's top 20, which was led by Silicon Valley's Los Altos.

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So why the sudden rise? "The consensus is that Malibu has recently become a full-time residence, not just a summer place," says agent Chris Cortazzo, who specializes in the area. "We now have restaurants like Nobu and Mr Chow, and so many offices have moved to places like Santa Monica and Playa del Rey, so it's become a much easier commute for many residents."

The survey, which includes more than 52,000 listings in nearly 2,000 U.S. markets, limits its scope to four-bedroom homes for an apples-to-apples comparison across a multitude of markets, which must have at least 10 such listings in a calendar year to be included (hence the absence of manse-filled areas like Bel Air, where a lack of four-bedroom inventory excluded it from the study).

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"Average price," however, doesn't convey the breadth of the market: Last year, Jim Carrey sold his three-bedroom Malibu home for a reported $13.4 million, while Brian Grazer's five-bedroom Colony spread currently is on the market for $18.95 million.

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