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See the highest-priced homes sold in Orange County in first half of 2017 – Orange County Register

Hilltop houses tucked behind their own gates. Circular motor courts and manicured gardens. A personal dock. A private path to the Pacific Ocean.

These are the settings for the priciest Orange County homes sold in the first six months of 2017.

The houses range from an oceanfront Laguna Beach spread by famed architect Brion Jeannette to a lavish estate on a prominent perch in Newport Coast.

But this mid-year Top 10 list was surpassed in just weeks. At the end of July, two Corona del Mar houses owned by Irvine family heirs simultaneously sold for a combined $55 million.

The iconic “Big Blue House” on a bluff above Newport Harbor went for $35 million. Its neighbor sold for $20 million. (Expect more on these two homes in our year-end report.)

The first six months saw 1,829 closed sales at $1.25 million or higher compared with 1,508 last year during the same period, a 22 percent increase, said Steve Thomas of ReportsOnHousing.com.

“That is a record number of luxury sales in Orange County,” Thomas said.

Real estate data firm CoreLogic counted 821 homes sold for above $2 million by the end of June 2017 compared with 762 in the same period in 2016 and 618 homes in 2015.

But the more expensive the home, the longer it can take to sell.

“Some oceanfront homes in the highest tier price range have been offered for sale now for three or four years,” said Bob Chapman, an agent at Teles Properties. And, he noted, some homes once asked many millions more.

Rex McKown of Surterre Properties, who sold several of the homes on the Top 10 list, said he’s been seeing more residents who already live in Newport Coast buying higher-ticket properties.

“A lot of this money is local,” he said. “That’s something we haven’t seen in quite a while.”

Here were the 10 priciest Orange County home sales in the first half of 2017, according to Property Shark, the California Regional Multiple Listing Service and other records. (Note: Private sales occasionally may be…

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