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A crowning glory of the coast

NEIGHBORLY ADVICE

July 20, 2003|June Casagrande | Special to The Times

Corona del Mar is a seaside section of Newport Beach, considered almost a city unto itself that winds along Coast Highway north of Crystal Cove State Park. The area's old-style charm sets it apart as a distinctive village composed of about eight cohesive neighborhoods, each of them serene, gorgeous and high-priced.

Drawing card

Quaint, often smaller homes on tree-lined streets with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean or Newport Harbor define the area. But homes range from cute, clean cottages on large lots to palatial mansions with the ocean for a frontyard.

Wow factor

Residents may come for the ocean views, but they stay for the lifestyle. Corona del Mar is a close-knit community insulated from big-city hustle and bustle yet close to Fashion Island, John Wayne Airport and major freeways. Corona del Mar Village is the shopping area along Coast Highway that serves as a town square, where sipping coffee, bicycling and casual strolls are the main orders of business.

Hot spots

Cameo Shores and Shore Cliff are among the most posh and pricey areas. A four-bedroom in Cameo Shores topped the listings at just under $10 million. Old Corona del Mar, known by locals as "the flower streets" because of names like Marigold and Poppy, is valued for its old-fashioned charm.

Stock report

In the neighborhoods of Irvine Terrace, Spyglass Hill, Harbor View Hills, Jasmine Creek and Cameo Highlands, home prices range between $1.3 million and $3 million.

Though a one-bedroom condo was listed recently at $425,000, a more typical starting price for condos in Corona del Mar is the mid-$600,000s.

In the week ending July 12, there were 84 single-family homes and 54 condos listed.

Report card

Corona del Mar schools perform well. Harbor View Elementary earned 916 out of a possible 1,000 score on the statewide 2002 Academic Performance Index ranking system. Abraham Lincoln Elementary scored 888. Corona del Mar High School, which serves middle- and high-school grades, scored 823.

Historical values

Single-family detached resales:

Year...Median Price

1990...$650,000

1995...$560,000

2000...$854,500

2002...$970,000

2003*...$1,150,000

*year to date

Sources: DataQuick Information Services, Prudential California Realty, Realtor.com, School Wise Press.

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