The Sea Ranch, a remote community along the Sonoma Coast in Northern California, was the zip code with the biggest increase in real estate prices in 2021 at about 38%, according to data from Zillow. The community is known for its unique, modern architecture, stunning Pacific Ocean views and 50 miles of hiking trails.
A prime example of the region’s steeply increasing values is the Halperin home, which was on the market in September for $8 million. In a matter of weeks it sold for $12 million.
It was already the highest asking price of any property to date at The Sea Ranch, a community known for its minimalist architecture built in sync with its natural surroundings. At 5.1 acres, it was also the largest property in the 10-mile span of homes on the Northern California coast.
Making the two-bedroom, two-bath, 2,121-square-foot home (plus a separate studio) even more special is its provenance: it was a second home to one of the Sea Ranch master planners, Lawrence Halprin. He lived and worked with his family on the property for more than 40 years.
Halprin began the Sea Ranch project in the early ‘60s when a group of idealistic architects from the University of California at Berkeley who got together to create what they saw as a modern, minimalist development that would “live lightly on the land.” Homeowners would respect the ecology of the area, and neighbors would respect each other, keeping trash cans and cars out of sight, sharing community centers, and landscaping with only native plants—no flower beds, no lawns.
An impressive property to be sure, but it’s probably fair to say that no one imagined it would sell for nearly 67% higher than the asking price.
Coming in second at 28% is another seaside town, Bolinas, that sits 30 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County. A third waterfront community, Bethel Island in Contra Costa County, had the third highest home value increase of 27%.