A small community, a census-designated place, within the famed Orange County in Southern California, Newport Coast is home to a population of just under an estimated 10,000, just south of Newport Beach on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is a master-planned community and is generally a very affluent, wealthy neighborhood, so naturally Newport Coast real estate tends to have incredibly high prices, even relative to other Orange County neighborhoods.

Though the area was affected negatively by the economic recession when it hit in the U.S. -- seeing those high-priced home values plummet and the number of foreclosures in Newport Coast rise to near all-time highs -- the prices for Newport Coast homes for sale remain some of the highest in Orange County. There have been declines though, and the area has still not seen the worst of it, as prices continue to fluctuate. Sales activity has seen a healthy pace though, as many buyers have jumped at the opportunity to buy homes in Newport Coast at what they view as low prices in the hopes that the values will soon rise again, though this is not necessarily a safe assumption: The OC Register recently reported that Orange County home prices have a 99.7% chance of price loss in two years or by winter of 2012.

According to the Orange County Register's annual zip code chart, at the end of 2009, Newport coast saw home sales with a median price of $1.5 million, down 21% from the year prior. Home sales volume, however, was up 30% with 191 sales. This year, that trend has continued. In the Register's monthly zip code chart with figures for July, Newport Coast homes saw sales at a median price of $1.4 million, down 6% year-over-year. The number of sales transactions was again up, though, with 24 homes sold in July, a 20% increase annually.

More recently, one good sign is that Newport Coast has a low number of distressed homes, coming in with the fourth-lowest number of distressed homes by percentage of total inventory of homes for sale. Newport Coast had just 12 of its 156 homes for sale marked as distressed, or 7.7%, the OC Register reported in late August.