Proximity to open space is one desirable aspect of owning an Irvine home.

Irvine property values outpaced OC’s by 51% in past year

Buying a home in Irvine is a smart investment, according to new Orange County statistics

by TOM BERG

If you own a home in Irvine, your investment increased on average 50 percent more than the rest of Orange County in the past year.

Irvine property values rose by 9.4 percent over the previous year, according to the Assessor’s office preliminary assessments for 2018–19 — more than any city in the county.

Real estate experts credit Irvine’s schools, safety and parks — all tops in the nation.

“A lot of people pick Irvine because it’s a life-changer,” says Peter Barshtak, with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “They want a better lifestyle. Irvine is lush and green. The schools are wonderful, and it’s extremely safe.”

Over the past 20 years, Irvine home values increased 73 percent more than the U.S. average according to Zillow statistics.

“Yes, it’s an incredible investment,” says homeowner Dave Link, “but really we just love living here.”

He and his wife moved to Irvine in 1983 to raise a family.

“We loved the area immediately — the parks, the schools, fishing, playing volleyball,” he says. “There’s no place like it.”

One reason for the city’s success is the Master Plan’s assurance of balance throughout the city.

“Where other cities only have pockets of high desirability, Irvine’s mix of homes, condos, apartments, schools and parks makes the entire city desirable,” says Greg Wakeham, an associate with RE/MAX Premier Realty. “It’s so easy to live happily in Irvine.”

Overall, Orange County property values rose by 6.2 percent in 2018–19.

That means an Orange County home worth $500,000 last year would now be worth $531,150 — versus $547,150 in Irvine — a 51 percent advantage.

These increased home values generate significant tax revenue to the city to maintain its police department, parks and open space as the best in the nation.

“People want to live here because they want what we offer,” says Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner — “the nation’s leading public safety, world‑class public schools, vigorous conservative fiscal management, an unparalleled park system, robust job opportunities and a renewed commitment to the Master Plan that protects our quality of life.”

And why does he think Irvine’s property values outpaced the county by 51 percent?

“It shows the continued strength of our master-planned city,” he says.