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Most Expensive Housing Markets

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While the Midwest dominated the list of least expensive housing markets, the West filled the top 10 most expensive housing markets with the exception of one city on the East coast. (No, not New York City.)

It’s no secret that California is an expensive state to live in and that real estate doesn’t come cheap. However, data compiled by Bloomberg has revealed just how expensive the housing market in California is.

While the Midwest dominated the list of the least expensive housing markets, the West dominates the most expensive housing markets with one exception on the East coast.

According to May 2013 median home sale prices from Zillow, Bloomberg ranked cities in the U.S. and discovered that California cities took up almost the entire top 10. In fact just two other cities were able to make it onto the list.

Even more, the list showed that California’s housing market is recovering in leaps and bounds. The median sales price in these cities all increased by at least 10% year over year, which is vastly different from the other two cities in the top 10 and non-California cities in the top 20.

For instance, the median sales price in the District of Columbia (ranked 13) increased by 8%, while New York City (ranked 15) only increased by 1.9% and Boulder, Colo., (ranked 16) actually decreased 1.3% from May 2012.

Population numbers are from the 2011 census unless otherwise notified.

10. San Diego, Calif.

Balboa Park

Median sales price: $412,000

Year-over-year change: 17.1%

Population: 1.326 million

Workers in the city with advanced degrees probably don’t have any trouble paying for their expensive homes — San Diego ranked fourth for the biggest difference between the median earnings of those with bachelor degrees and those with graduate or professional degrees.

9. Honolulu, Hawaii

Downtown

Median sales price: $412,400

Year-over-year change: 0.9%

Population: 374,658 (2009)

The city doesn’t have a lot of foreclosures (ranking 70th in the country) with just one in every 3,105. However, while the number of houses in pre-foreclosure in June was down 16% over the previous month, it was up 215% from a year ago.

8. Stamford, Conn.

Downtown

Median sales price: $418,000

Year-over-year change: 6.8%

Population: 123,868

The median household income in 2009 was reportedly $75,765. The rest of the country is looking at less than $50,000, though. Renting in Stamford isn’t much better than buying a home — the median gross rent in 2011 was $1,511. The average monthly gross rent for all the U.S> was just $920.

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7. Napa, Calif.

Downtown

Median sales price: $419,200

Year-over-year change: 21.1%

Population: 77,867

The foreclosure rate in Napa is very low — just one in every 1,592 homes, according to RealtyTrac. However, according to June numbers, the amount of homes in pre-foreclosure is up 14% over the previous month.

6. Ventura, Calif.

County fair. Photo by Dan Huse.

Median sales price: $432,000

Year-over-year change: 14.4%

Population: 107,514

The unemployment rate for Ventura is just 6.2%, which is well below country’s 7.6%. The median household income in 2009 for the city was $62,592, which is better than the rest of the state.

5. Santa Barbara, Calif.

Memorial Gardens

Median sales price: $333,300

Year-over-year change: 10.9%

Population: 89,045

Home sales for May 2013 were up 47% over the previous month and 20% over a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. The foreclosure rate is incredibly low, at just 1 in every 6,278, which comes out to just 0.01%.

4. Los Angeles, Calif.

One of the canals of Venice Beach. Photo by Roger Howard.

Median sales price: $462,700

Year-over-year change: 19.7%

Population: 3.82 million

Sushi lovers, beware. Los Angeles ranked second in the country for the price of basic and premium sushi rolls. What must be nice for homeowners, though, is that it is the 10th most exclusive ZIP code.

3. Santa Cruz, Calif.

Downtown. Photo by Aaron Brick.

Median sales price: $555,500

Year-over-year change: 21.3%

Population: 60,342

Santa Cruz, on the coast, but near Silicon Valley, is a very young community, with a median resident age of just 30 years, as compared to the state median of 45.6 years. Median household income in 2009 was $54,508.

2. San Francisco, Calif.

Alamo Square with the Painted Ladies. Photo by John O’Neill.

Median sales price: $558,300

Year-over-year change: 18%

Population: 812,826

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the housing market is so expensive—San Francisco is in demand. It was ranked the fastest-growing moving destination over the last two years, with the average move-in growth to the city at nearly 7% from 2011. The city also ranked third for most expensive basic sushi rolls and fifths for longest commutes.

1. San Jose, Calif.

Suburbs

Median sales price: $663,400

Year-over-year change: 21.2%

Population: 967,487

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that this housing market is the most expensive considering it is considered the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” and the area is popping out millionaires and billionaires left and right. However, these workers have one of the longest commutes in the country.


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