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Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, and Glendale all moved up HomeSnacks list of the top ten most expensive places to live in California for 2023; and surprisingly, none of these places hold the number one spot. So, the million dollar question, what California place earned this title? HomeSnacks knows and we've listed it below.
But, before you click that down arrow, you should probably know how we calculated this list. Yes, in order to determine the top ten most expensive places in California, we looked at the American Community Survey for data on cost of living in The Golden State: specifically, home to income ratio and rent to income ratio. And, folks, if you want to live in California's most expensive places, you're going to have to make at least $61,862/year. And if you want to live in the number one most expensive place, you might want to think about renting before you buy because its median home price is off the charts.
But, it's worth it. Many of the most expensive places on this list are some of Califonia's best places and that's because these places have the funds to keep its residents happy, safe, and living their best life.
To see a list of the California places where the boulevards are paved in gold and you have to make Mark Zuckerberg's salary to survive, keep reading.
Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in California for 2023:
What's the most expensive place to live in California? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Coronado is the most expensive place to live in California.
So hopefully Ridgecrest (the cheapest place to live in California) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about California and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In California For 2023
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 14.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.1x (32nd most expensive)
More on Coronado: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Coronado comes in at $114,559 and the median home value is $1,656,900 for 2023.
2. Beverly Hills
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 19.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.9x (52nd most expensive)
More on Beverly Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Beverly Hills comes in at $103,944 and the median home value is $2,000,001 for 2023.
3. Solana Beach
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 12.6x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.7x (50th most expensive)
More on Solana Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Solana Beach comes in at $113,903 and the median home value is $1,431,600 for 2023.
4. Santa Barbara
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 12.7x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.8x (62nd most expensive)
More on Santa Barbara: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Santa Barbara comes in at $89,243 and the median home value is $1,130,900 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 11.6x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.6x (28th most expensive)
More on Glendale: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Glendale comes in at $74,488 and the median home value is $865,400 for 2023.
6. San Luis Obispo
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 11.6x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 36.0x (9th most expensive)
More on San Luis Obispo: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in San Luis Obispo comes in at $61,862 and the median home value is $719,300 for 2023.
7. Pacific Grove
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 10.0x (33rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.0x (65th most expensive)
More on Pacific Grove: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Pacific Grove comes in at $92,980 and the median home value is $929,200 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 10.3x (25th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.1x (33rd most expensive)
More on Ojai: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Ojai comes in at $71,700 and the median home value is $737,700 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.3x (54th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 36.0x (8th most expensive)
More on Carpinteria: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Carpinteria comes in at $78,349 and the median home value is $729,000 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 11)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 10.2x (29th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.2x (68th most expensive)
More on Burbank: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Burbank comes in at $82,246 and the median home value is $837,900 for 2023.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Golden State For 2023
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in California to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 424 places in California that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in California according to the data is Coronado. You can download the data here.
Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In California For 2023
Well there you have it, the places in California that have the highest cost of living, with Coronado ranking as the most expensive city in the Golden State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in California according to the data:
For more California reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In California
- Cheapest Places To Live In California
- Most Dangerous Cities In California
- Best Places To Raise A Family In California
- Safest Places In California
- Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In California
|6||San Luis Obispo||49.67|
|12||Rolling Hills Estates||66.67|
|36||South San Francisco||93.0|
|56||East Palo Alto||118.33|
|78||South El Monte||131.0|
|98||Rancho Palos Verdes||143.0|