10 Most Expensive Areas To Live In California

By Cristine Parungao

To say that California is expensive is an understatement. This golden state lives up to its name because of the lavish living conditions residents live in. By residents, we mean stars, celebrities, and people earning more than six digits a year 

California is known to be the Land of Milk and Honeybecause of the endless opportunities that it offers. Jobs pay better in this state because of the number of tourists that visit. Additionally, the demand for services is great because of the large population.

If you are wondering which are the most expensive areas to live in California, read on. These neighborhoods are by far the most exclusive in the state and you can literally smell the luxury in the air. Let us discover the best of the best areas in California and find out how much it costs to live there.

10. Oakland


Median property value: $744,000

One of the most manicured areas in California is Oakland, located in the East Bay area. It is a waterfront city, boasting beautiful scenery and concrete jungle. Because of its strategic location, many tech giants reside in this area. 

wikipedia.org, visitcalifornia.com

The median price for properties in Oakland, California starts at $744,000. Yearly, the value of a property increases because of the demand ratio. The price per square foot in the area starts at $525.

9. Santa Cruz


Median property value: $965,000 

If you are going to drive in Santa Cruz, California, your eyes can feast in some of the biggest mansions you will ever see in your life. This area is undeniably one of the most expensive places to live in California. One, because it is near the coast, and two, there are a number of tourist attractions in the area.

visittheusa.com, agoda.com

The price of single-family homes is now on an average of $965,000 and above. Whats special about this location is the proximity to landmarks and, of course, the beach.

8. Rolling Hills Estate


Median property value: $1.15 million

Eyeing Rolling Hills Estate as your next residence? You better fork out roughly $1.15 million for a family house in this area. Year by year, the property price grows to at least 1 percent because of the increasing demand.

tollbrothers.com, thegriegoteam.com

The price of properties is justified because most household income in this area grows by a few hundred dollars a year. The homeownership rate is as high as 93 percent.

7. Berkeley


Median property value: $1.2 million

Another expensive area to live in is Berkeley, California. It is a beautiful city located in Northern California, close to the east side of the San Francisco Bay. Because of the serene location and upscale lifestyle, the cost of living index is 38 percent more than the average Californian city. 

wikipedia.org, visitcalifornia.com

Aside from the property prices, the cost of transportation and utilities in Berkeley are 9 percent higher compared to other Californian cities.

6. San Francisco


Median property value: $1.7 million

The list of the most expensive areas to live in California wouldnt be complete without San Francisco, a.k.a. the largest city on the West Coast. The rolling hills, an eclectic lifestyle, and job opportunities make this area expensive. 

sfchamber.com, edition.cnn.com

Some of the stars that reside in San Francisco include James Franco, Tom Hanks, and the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. According to the Business Insider, this area is one of the wealthiest cities in the whole of America; hence, the cost of living is higher. 

5. Malibu


Median property value: $1.8 million

To live your Californian dream, you need to pay Malibu a visit. Why visit? Because unless you are a millionaire, residing here wont be easy. The cost of living is definitely twice as much as other cities, plus, the cost of home rental or buying a property is also high.

curbed.co, dmproperties.com

The price median for properties is $1.8 million and the cost of living will probably drain you. Unless you are bringing in big bucks, you are better off in other cities because Malibu is definitely for the rich.

4. Newport Beach


Median property value: $2.85 million

The coastal city in  Orange Country is Newport Beach, where the bigshot CEOs and celebrities are nestled. It is known for the beautiful beach in Newport, which is famous for surfers. Because of the number of tourists visiting this place, the price of houses almost reaches three million on average.

phoenixmag.com, irvinecompanyapartments.com

The overall cost of living in this location is 98 percent higher than the rest of California. Housing comprises a huge chunk of the expense because rental scan hit $3,000 and above for a two-bedroom property.

3. Montecito


Median property value: $3.4 million

The most exclusive neighborhoods in the whole of California can be found at Montecito. Some of the famous residents here include Oprah Winfrey, Patrick Stewart, and Drew Barrymore. 

mansionglobal.com, sothebyshomes.com

When it comes to housing, Montecito is definitely way above the standard price margin. Utilities and services also cost a lot here. Millionaires reside in Montecito because the area is serene and not a lot of people can afford to live within the area.

2. Beverly Hills


Median property value: $4.08 million

Just by its name, you know living in Beverly Hills will cost you an arm or leg, or probably both. Home to upscale shopping districts, clubs, and restaurants, Beverly Hills is a fancy city in the Los Angeles area. 

dezeen.com, latimes.com

If you are celeb hunting, Beverly Hills should be your destination. Most stars reside in this area because of the lavish living conditions. More importantly, Beverly Hills is home to gated and exclusive neighborhoods, that’s why most celebrities can enjoy their privacy.

1. Santa Monica


Median property value: $4.15 million

Estate near the Santa Monica pier tops the list for the most expensive areas to live in California. Local tourist spots made properties expensive, as more people visit the place. Moreover, access to the beach is also the reason why the property price median hits $4.15 million. 

timeout.com, wikipedia.org

For the cost of living, Santa Monica is 106 percent higher than the national average. Imagine paying for groceries and being billed 100 times as much as the regular price. Only those who earn a lot can endure this expensive location.


If you think New York is expensive, you have to pay California a visit and compare how much money you can burn for housing, utilities, and food. No doubt, California is one of the worlds most expensive places you can live in.

wikipedia.org, timeout.com, sfchamber.com

Go to Buzz.Moneis.com for more entertaining articles about the lavish lives of the rich & famous.