Forget the post-Christmas sales at the malls in California’s bankrupt Orange County. The best bargains are the mansions along the county’s canyons and coastlines.
Thanks to financial woes such as the county’s $1.64 billion loss on risky investments last year, mansions have lost a third or more of their value.
But with bargain prices and falling interest rates leading the way, the number of mansion sales jumped 27 percent in 1995, with 278 homes selling for at least $1 million, according to Dataquick of La Jolla, Calif.
One of those “bargains” is the most expensive home ever sold in the county, a Newport Beach estate repossessed from Hong Kong businessman George Yao in June. He purchased it in 1991 for $13.8 million.
The 18,000-square-foot mansion boasts 46 sets of French doors framing waterfront views. The estate on the tip of exclusive Harbor Island is currently listed for $8.9 million.