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There's a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in California:
Should I buy a place or rent? Well, we aren't here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you'll do the right thing and a buy a place. And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in California, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Golden State.
To do that we are going to look at places in California that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in California at the moment? That would be Dos Palos according to our analysis.
Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in California for 2022.
What's the best place to buy a home in California for 2022? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.
The methodology that wen't into this can be a bit complicated, so we'll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below. If you're not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in California and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in California.
For more California reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In California
- Best Places To Raise A Family In California
- Best Places To Retire In California
The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In California For 2022
Methodology: How do you determine the best places to buy a home in California for 2022?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we've put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we'd approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in California. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in California with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2016-2020 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It's still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still "cheap" for California with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 0 cities and towns in California, only 427 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 427 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a "best place to buy" index with the place having the lowest index being the best. You can download the data here.
Turns out that Dos Palos is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Golden State.
Read on for more on these places.
Summary: The Best Places To Purchase A House In California for 2022
There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in California. And, to be clear, we aren't necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.
So if we'd could rent or buy in these cities, we'd definitely buy.
For more California reading, check out: