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Lido Isle $47M Listing Highlights Lack of Inventory

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It’s growing increasingly challenging for buyers to find housing in Newport Beach, where there were just 95 active listings as of last week, according to California Regional Multiple Listing Service data.

That’s down from about 162 and 267 during the same time period in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The choices are even more slim for high-end buyers seeking luxury properties.

Shrinking inventory has sent housing prices sky high for both luxe and non-luxury homes. Orange County’s median home price surpassed $1 million for the first time in March, according to data from DQNews. The average price for a home in Newport Beach runs over $4 million, industry data indicates.

Lone Lido Isle Listing

Newport Beach has long been the most popular city in OC for luxury buyers seeking new homes in private enclaves. That demand has only grown since the onset of the pandemic two years ago when buyers left the denser city of Los Angeles and chose to relocate to Orange County’s coastal cities.

Finding high-end homes, however, is proving to be extremely challenging for top-tier shoppers.

There are just 75 active listings for homes priced over $10 million in Orange County, according to real estate tracker Zillow.  

Newport Beach counts about 30 of those active listings.

Many exclusive neighborhoods, such as Crystal Cove or Newport Coast, count a handful of listings at any given time; several times in the past year, no luxury homes were on the market in those communities.

In the exclusive Lido Isle neighborhood, just one home is for sale, and it hit the market last month with a blockbuster price tag, the second priciest on the market in Newport Beach.

Local executive and philanthropist Mike Gray is selling his nearly 8,900-square-foot estate for $47.5 million.

What justifies the price—which would be among tops for OC home sales if sold at or close to that value—is the size of the property, according to listing agent Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker Realty.

The home at 309 Via Lido Soud was built in 2018 on a 3.5-parcel lot, making it a rare find; homes in Lido Isle or Newport Beach are no longer able to be built on multiple lots due to the local housing shortage.

“Between the construction and the 3.5-lot site, you could not replace this property for our current list price—not to mention, it would take five years of your life to do it,” Smith told the Business Journal. The home counts four bedrooms, six bathrooms and 105 feet of harbor frontage. It provides a front-row view of the popular annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Smith notes.

Hoag Philanthropists

Gray is the former president of Irvine-based women’s apparel company St. John Knits (see list, page 17) and later founded Sweet Life Enterprises, a national commercial bakery. The entrepreneur is also a notable philanthropist; Gray and his wife, Lori, in 2018 made a substantial financial gift to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

The total amount was undisclosed, but was reported to be among the largest in the hospital’s history. The Hoag Health Center Newport Beach was renamed the Mike & Lori Gray Campus as a result.

Gray paid $12.5 million for the Lido Isle home in 2017 and carried out an extensive remodel that overhauled the property, in part leading to a nearly 280% premium on the asking price.

Skyrocketing demand and low inventory also undoubtedly helped push up the price tag.

Records

Newport Coast is home to the priciest sale on record among spots in Newport Beach.

LoanDepot (NYSE: LDI) founder Anthony Hsieh, who stepped down as CEO of the Foothill Ranch-based mortgage lender to become executive chairman late last month, paid $61 million for the 19,000-square-foot estate at 15 Del Mar.

The deal marked the second time in 2020 that the home price record was broken.

OC’s record price for a home is last year’s $70 million paid for 2585 Riviera Drive in Laguna Beach’s Abalone Point. 

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