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Newport called richest U.S. city

Website’s report points to high incomes and home values as indicators of place on scale.

February 24, 2010|By Mike Reicher

Newport Beach has another reason to brag: It is the wealthiest place in the nation, by some measurements.

The combination of high household incomes and home values brings Newport to the top of Portfolio.com’s new rankings of America’s wealth centers.

“But I hope that people realize that there’s more than just wealth here,” said City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, a longtime resident. “There’s a good percentage of the population [that] doesn’t go around thinking only about money.”

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Apparently people think enough about it: Newport Beach’s per capita income of $86,586 easily leads the 420 U.S. communities with populations greater than 75,000, the website says, and it triples the national income of $27,589. Portfolio.com analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from 2008.

More than a quarter of Newport households have annual incomes of more than $200,000. Just two other cities in the study group are above 17% — Pleasanton and Newton, Mass., — but neither does any better than 24%.

High incomes translate into high property values.

The median value for homes in Newport Beach exceeds $1 million.

Santa Barbara is the only other place analyzed by Portfolio, a business publication, that can make that claim.

“Some of us bought houses 30 or 40 years ago,” Gardner, the District 6 councilwoman, said. “I’m sure this would come at much less of a surprise to people who bought in Newport Coast.”

Newport Coast, a subdivision of custom homes, was annexed in 2002 and has some of the wealthiest residents in Orange County, including Kobe Bryant.


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