Biggest home sale in La Jolla history: $24.7 million

This home at 8466 El Paseo Grande in La Jolla sold for $24.7 million. It is the biggest home sale in La Jolla history.
This home at 8466 El Paseo Grande in La Jolla sold for $24.7 million. It is the biggest home sale in La Jolla history.
(Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty)

The January sale beats out the 2018 purchase by musician Alicia Keys of the Razor House and others


The biggest home sale in La Jolla’s history — and the third-highest ever in San Diego County — took place a few weeks ago when a beachfront mansion sold for $24.7 million.

Completed last year, the newly built 6,071-square-feet property at 8466 El Paseo Grande sold for one of the highest amounts in San Diego County in the last 12 months — a time period marked by a surging luxury market during the pandemic. While the sale was completed in late December, it was not announced by parties involved until this week.

The biggest purchase in San Diego County history remains the 2007 sale of an oceanfront home in Del Mar for $48.2 million. The same house was later sold to Bill and Melinda Gates for $43 million last year.

The previous highest sale in La Jolla was 8303 La Jolla Shores for $24 million in 2018. While it might be the most well-known sale, the purchase of the famed Razor House for $20.8 million by musician Alicia Keys, was in the top five highest sales but not the biggest.

Listing agent Brett Dickinson said he had signed paperwork that prevents him from disclosing who bought the newly built house on El Paseo Grande. Public records list a real estate agent as the buyer, but that agent is not the actual purchaser — it is just a technique for shielding the real buyer’s name, much like creating a limited liability company.

Dickinson, who shared the listing with agent Ross Clark, said he has been inundated for months by prospective buyers from Los Angeles and San Francisco who see the San Diego area as a less expensive option.

“It seems like La Jolla and San Diego are the place to be,” he said. “I feel like San Diego has been discovered in a new way.”

Agents across San Diego County reported as early as April that affluent buyers were seeking out properties in Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla and other areas as the pandemic kicked off. The reasoning was San Diego County is more spread out than other areas of the nation, and (at the time) COVID-19 was less prevalent here. Dickinson said a lot of the more recent buyers are from the tech industry who think they can get more bang for their buck here as opposed to other parts of California.

The El Paseo Grande property took eight years to build because of many approvals needed from the California Coastal Commission and concerns by a neighbor, Dickinson said. The previous owners, he said, fell out of love with the home during the frustrating build and that is why they decided to sell.

Perhaps the most unique part of the property is a 1,275-square-foot deck that is directly on the beach. There are only roughly 30 La Jolla homes directly on the beach. The deck also has a hot tub.

The home has four bedrooms and 5 1/2 bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a copper roof, an elevator, two fireplaces, a gym, floors of polished concrete and European cut white oak, as well as unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. It also has a large garage that can fit two cars and other items — rare for any home that close to any beach in San Diego County.

It was designed by Del Mar-based architect Bill Hayer and built by Tom Waters Construction.

Most expensive home sales in San Diego County

The property took about six months to sell, fast for homes at that price point. As of late December, homes more than $4 million range were selling in an average of 246 days, said Orange County-based Reports on Housing. That was much faster than the 703 days a year ago.

Aside from just luxury, San Diego County saw a historic rise in prices throughout 2020 — rivaled only by the housing boom days of 2004 and the rush out of the Great Recession in 2014. The median price for the entire county was $650,000 in November, said CoreLogic data provided by DQNews, up about 9.3 percent in a year.

Calculating the most expensive homes can be tricky because the calculation is mainly reliant on homes that are listed for sale. Even with the assistance of public records, it can sometimes be difficult to verify the exact sale price an off-market sale.

The most expensive sale in San Diego County history at 2808 Ocean Front (later purchased by Bill and Melinda Gates) is somewhat in contention by some agents. It had previously been owned by Madeleine Pickens, the ex-wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens and her purchase of the property is a bit complicated. She bought it for $35 million but the total grew to $48.2 million when three adjacent parcels were added to the deal.