Real Estate - Residential

Record $13.9M Home Sale Signals Increasing Luxury Appeal

By Cece Nunn, posted Jul 9, 2024
The home at 102 Beach Road South on Figure Eight Island sold for $13.9 million last week, breaking records. (Photo courtesy of J. Long Custom Homes)

When Chris Dunbar and his wife, Crystal, decided to build a home on Figure Eight Island, they were attracted to the exclusive community’s look, feel and location.

The island’s proximity to I-140 “makes it so convenient from I-40 and the airport,” said Chris Dunbar, president and chief operating officer of High Point-based Blue Ridge Companies. 

Members of the Wilmington-based Cameron family started developing Figure Eight Island in the 1960s. The island is only accessible to homeowners and their guests. In recent years, a lack of inventory and a spike in the luxury market have driven home prices on the New Hanover County island up into seven figures. 

“I think the popularity of the island has increased significantly since the pandemic. I think folks from primary markets are looking for a more laid-back lifestyle, and Figure Eight fits that bill perfectly,” Chris Dunbar said.

The Dunbars sold their home on Figure Eight last week for $13.9 million, which some Realtors believe to be the highest price ever for a single-family home in North Carolina. The deed shows the buyer was Herbert A. Allen III, president of Allen & Co., an investment bank in New York (initially reported by the Wall Street Journal).

A home on Figure Eight set the previous record when it sold for $13 million last year.

The $13.9 million Figure Eight Island home at 102 Beach Road South is 6,700 square feet with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Built by J. Long Custom Homes in 2019, the oceanfront dwelling was the last home designed by architect John Stirewalt. 

According to a news release from J. Long Custom Homes, Stirewalt designed over 150 homes in a career spanning over 40 years on Figure Eight Island.

Nick Phillips of Wilmington-based Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty represented the Dunbars in the sale, and Buzzy Northen of Wilmington-based Intracoastal Realty Corp. represented the buyer.

The 102 Beach Road South sale “demonstrates that the demand for these luxury oceanfront homes and the Wilmington area continues to increase,” Phillips said.

The listing immediately stirred up interest.

“We had several showings within the first week on the market,” Phillips said. “There were multiple offers.”

The house went under contract in 11 days. Dunbar purchased the property for $2 million in 2016, according to property tax records.

“In a remarkable feat of logistics and commitment to sustainability, the original home on the property was sold for $1 to a neighboring resident and relocated overnight to make way for the new construction,” according to the J. Long Custom Homes release. “This relocation, conducted between 2 a.m. and 6:28 a.m., not only preserved the original structure but also minimized waste and embodied J. Long Custom Homes’ dedication to environmental stewardship.”

Phillips said the spacious home with a saltwater oceanfront pool “hit on all cylinders” for potential buyers. 

“With these truly extraordinary properties, especially on Figure Eight, we’ve seen them sell very quickly over the past few years,” he said. “Going under contract within the first week or first few weeks on the market has become typical of the truly extraordinary properties.”

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