Corona del Mar, a short drive south of Los Angeles, is often overshadowed by the higher-profile hamlet of Newport Beach. But with its prime Pacific-front setting, Corona de Mar (which is technically part of the Newport Beach area) is one of Southern California’s most enviable resort-like communities.
Founded in the 1920s and originally accessible only by boat, Corona del Mar became popular following the construction of the Pacific Coast Highway, which linked it to the rest of the Los Angeles area. Today, the town’s waterfront estates lure quietly wealthy celebs and corporate kingpins, many of whom swoon over the area’s world-class surfing. The town is tiny, with less than 15,000 residents, and when homes come to market, eagle-eyed buyers pounce (and pounce quickly).
One of the newest (and most covetable) homes on the market right now is set at 4601 Camden Drive —a Provencal-inspired estate set on a prime quarter-acre lot with ample water views. Spread over nearly 7,000-square-feet with four-bedrooms and five-bathrooms, the home offers a dose of European-style living along a prime slice of what many call “the California Riviera.” Priced at $12.68 million, 4601 Camden Drive is part of the Cameo Shores neighborhood, an enclave of roughly 170 single-family homes set within a secure and private gated community.
“Cameo Shores is home to some of the most successful, high-profile business people in the nation,” explains listing agent Tara Shapiro of EQTY/Forbes Global Properties. “It is a very exclusive, extraordinary place to be and only 45 miles to Los Angeles—and Cameo Shores residents have gated access to the ocean bluff trails to Crystal Cove State Beach.” Indeed there are three separate beach access points in Cameo Shores, Shapiro adds, “which is very rare for the region.”
Set close to the famed Resort at Pelican Hill, the Camden Drive property exemplifies the best of the Corona del Mar lifestyle. Perched on a pair of parcels—one for living, the other with outdoor gardens—the home is defined by azure Pacific views. The main entryway is all about space and volume, capped by vaulted angular ceilings that frame the vast ocean beyond. Throughout the open-plan living spaces, European stonework and Venetian plaster abound, offering a sense of formality to the home’s overall resort-like vibe.
The home is anchored by an expansive great room, which includes a light-filled living room that leads to a wet bar, kitchen and dining area. There are arched windows for more ocean views and a stone fireplace, along with reclaimed wooden floors and limestone masonry. In the kitchen itself, there’s a pizza kitchen, walk-in pantry and center island for informal meals and prep.
Further on are the quartet of bedrooms, each en suite, along with an office and large media room—all of which are framed by oversized windows to allow both the Pacific and the surrounding landscaping to shine through. Indeed, it’s the home’s mix of indoor and outdoor living that’s most compelling—thanks to sprawling gardens which are set on what is essentially an entire separate lot (also available for purchase for roughly $13 million more). “The garden areas are incredibly majestic as is the saltwater pool and spa,” says Shapiro, “which makes it a truly dream home for entertaining.” Throughout the gardens, there are citrus, olive and melaleuca trees, along with an al fresco fireplace when evenings become cooler.
With its small size and prime waterfront location Newport Beach and Corona del Mar have fared well during the pandemic thanks to “high interest and low supply,” says Shapiro. “Homes here have maintained their value despite the (negative) economic headwinds.”
Nonetheless, Corona del Mar has not emerged totally unscathed from the nation’s housing price slide. Indeed, according to real estate data firm Redfin, average Corona del Mar home prices are down 29.7 percent year-over-year to just over $3.6 million. What’s more, overall home sales have slumped by just over 14 percent, whole homes are not taking longer to sell; an average of 43 days in 2022, compared to 31 days in 2021.
One bright light, the median sales prices has increased since 2021, up 5.2 percent. So while the market may be retreating somewhat, Corona del Mar’s tiny size and distinct location make it a prime long-term investment bet. “The proximity to world class shops, restaurants, unparalleled health care, and John Wayne Airport make the area highly desirable,” Shapiro says. “Properties here are very much investment grade.”
See below for more photos of 4601 Camden Drive: