When shopping for a Berkeley home, it may look as though the prices are quite high in some neighborhoods, but they are rather low when compared to the recent list of America's Most Expensive Homes that was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street.

California cities compose five of the top ten on this list of the nation's most expensive homes.  Interestingly, many of these locations are not well known nationwide, because many are small suburbs of larger, more familiar, and wealthier cities. Below is information about the final tallies, but listing only the California homes.

An example of this relationship of small to larger city is the Number Two Most Expensive Home Neighborhood of--Ross, California.  A tiny town across the bay from San Francisco in Marin County, Ross is only 1.6 miles square.  It has reached its status of #2 in the nation because its limited inventory of very expensive homes has caused the prices to make a stunning 73.6% change upwards in from 9/2011 to 9/2012.  That means that the median list price for a home in that community is now $5.30 million dollars. 

Included in the Number Five spot is Atherton, California.  Located among the affluent neighborhoods on the San Francisco Peninsula, and fueled by Silicon Valley wealth, this town is known for its large mansions and expansive grounds.    It has made a strong financial recovery in recent years, and there is an ongoing demand for homes as they come on the market.  At present, the median list price for an Atherton home is $4.30 million dollars.

While this should not be a surprise, it is expected that Beverly Hills, California needs to be included in this list, given the wealth of nearby Hollywood and Los Angeles.  It is, in fact, included the Number Six spot.  Inventory is hard to come by due to the constant demand for a home in this enclave.  Its change over last year is 17.2%, and its median list price is $3.75 million dollars.

The Number Seven Spot in the List is Rancho Santa Fe, California.  This is a small town of only 3,117 people, so it has to work hard to earn this prestigious spot.  Adjacent to San Diego, it boasts many celebrity homes which help to raise the prices being asked.  Examples include Janet Jackson and actress Geena Davis who make their home here.  Its median list price is $3.29 million dollars, and the year has shown an increase of $13.5% in home prices. 

The real surpise in this survey is that of the remaining two California cities in this nationwide list. Often seen as super expensive cities, Santa Barbara, California, in 8th place, has a median list price of $3.19 million dollars, and in the last place of the top ten is Bel Air, California with a median list price of $2.82 million.

So, when you get discouraged in looking for your new home, it becomes obvious that things are more expensive elsewhere-even if you are not planning to move there!

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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