Lake Forest Real Estate Values - Update

Dr. Jim Gardner
Dr. Jim Gardner

Life is full of “good news/bad news” situations. According to the Sunday Register, Lake Forest real estate falls into that classification. The good news is that in 2013 home sale prices grew in Lake Forest at an incredible 31.5% rate. That put us at #2 among all 83 zip codes in Orange County, with our neighbor San Juan Capistrano at 35.9%. 

The bad news is that we are still among the lowest priced real estate in South Orange County, exceeding only Laguna Woods in the median price of our homes sold so far in 2014. Here are the figures for the bottom 15 zip codes –

  • Laguna Woods - $220,000

  • LAKE FOREST - $406,250

  • Aliso Viejo - $425,000

  • RSM - $456,000

  • Irvine (92614) - $470,000

  • Mission Viejo (92692) - $515,000

  • Ladera Ranch - $535,500

  • Mission Viejo (92691) - $555,000

  • Irvine (92606) - $555,000

  • Irvine (92604) – $567,000

  • Irvine (92612) - $598,000

  • Laguna Hills - $610,000

  • FOOTHILL RANCH - $610,000

  • Laguna Niguel - $635,000

  • Irvine (92602) - $670,000

FWIW – I can’t help but have my suspicions that one of the reasons our home prices are lower than almost any other City down here is that our amenities are much less than any other City down here. Other cities have a civic center, a senior center, a dog park, a local animal shelter, a community foundation, etc. Can it be that the City’s policy of underserving our citizens is reflected in the value of our homes?

We can take some comfort in a 31.5% increase in the value of our homes in 2013, but as the prices in all the rest of the cities around us shows, we have a long way to go.

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Jim Richert January 27, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Jim, I think the primary reason is the higher percentage of condo sales in Lake Forest compared to others. For example,in Dec 2013, LF (92630 zip code) had 37 Single family homes sold at average of $580k and 27 condos sold at $295k. The 27 condos represented 42% of all home sales volume. In Mission Viejo (92691 zip code), 43 single family homes sold for $625k average while 14 condos sold for $295k (same as LF). The 14 condos in MV represented just 24% of sales volume compared to LF at 42%. As a comparison, ten years ago in 2004 for the entire year in LF condos were 29% of the sales volume compareed to only 17% in Mission Viejo. More condo sales = lower average total home sales price.
Annie G. January 27, 2014 at 06:51 PM
what about the nearby jail expansion- nimbys thinking about that kinda thing?
Jim Gardner January 27, 2014 at 07:37 PM
Jim, so condo prices in MV were the same as LF, but home sale prices in MV exceeded LF by $625K vs. $580K. That lessens the difference, but still MV > LF. MV has a civic center (nice one), senior center (nice one), animal shelter (nice one), community foundation - none of which do we have. Neither one of us has a dog park, although MV is in process of creating one.
Jim Sparks January 28, 2014 at 09:34 AM
31% increase in sales price and still near the bottom in value? What does that tell you?
Rose Tingle January 28, 2014 at 10:48 PM
Speaking of animal shelter, what is the latest? I remember back in FY 07-08 the then city council reported it received quite a bit of correspondence from Lake Forest residents regarding animals services and almost half wanted a new pro-humane/no kill animal shelter constructed. That was 6 years ago!!!!!! The population continues to increase, people and animals, but not the services. Since we now have the Arbor at Lake Forest, don't we have a bigger tax base? Frankly, I don't think its about money.When will this pervasive prejudice on the city council stop?
Ricardo Cabeza January 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM
From the Register yesterday - Area's removal from Superfund site clears way for Great Park homes. The 1,900-acre area, once contaminated by military use in past decades, is now fit for the planned construction of thousands of homes as well as commercial and retail properties, the EPA statement said. Of the 1,900 acres being taken off the Superfund’s “national priorities list,” 1,200 are owned by Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC, which plans to build 9,500 homes there. **** Wow. Hope they have engineered traffic to enter/exit the I-5 from Sand Canyon and the Toll Road and not Bake.


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