Irvine leads OC in home appreciation

by TOM BERG

According to market intelligence firm Metrostudy, Irvine homes appreciate faster during good times and depreciate slower during the challenging times.

The result is that since 2005, Irvine home values have tripled the county’s overall appreciation rate – 77% versus 22%.

Why?

“No other American city has been guided by a master plan that’s created this balance of great schools, jobs, parks and safety,” says Lucy Dunn, CEO of Orange County Business Council.

Here’s a closer look at the elements supporting Irvine’s strong home values.

1. SCHOOLS

According to homebuyer surveys conducted by Irvine-based homebuilder Irvine Pacific, schools are the No. 1 factor in choosing Irvine.

A 2019 statewide study ranked Irvine Unified School District the No. 1 large district in the state based on state test scores, teacher-to-student ratios, and math and reading proficiency.

“We never have to sell Irvine,” says Irvine real estate broker Michelle Harrington.

“The schools here speak for themselves.”

2. JOBS

Irvine has nearly one job for every resident – a balance that is among the best in America. It includes high-wage jobs in med-tech, biotech, financial tech and many Fortune 500 companies.

“People want to live near work, so that protects and expands home values,” says John Shumway, principal of The Concord Group, a national real-estate strategy firm. “They won’t leave if their commute is short and they’ve landed their dream job. It creates demand, which drives value.”

3. PARKS

Last year, Irvine’s 268 parks were ranked No. 1 in California by The Trust for Public Land. And parks create up to 20% added home value, according to studies by the University of Washington.

“There are parks and recreational areas in each community,” says Teri Cho, Realtor at Realty One Group in Irvine. “That makes it convenient for families to get out and enjoy the California weather.”

4. SAFETY

For 14 consecutive years, Irvine has been recognized as the safest large city in America by the FBI.

“Yes, our parks, schools and shopping centers are beautiful, but they’re also safe,” says Kristi Blazier, a banking executive who lives in Woodbury Village with her family. “As a mom, there’s nothing more important to me.”