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The Most Expensive Places to Own a Home in California

The Golden State is one of the most sought after places to live but, unfortunately, one of the most expensive in the nation. There are simply too many people and too few of homes. Nonetheless, there are some places that are actually a bit more affordable than others.

Key Takeaways:

  • Southern California is more unaffordable than any other part of California
  • The median Californian spends 31.6% of their income on housing
  • The median income for residents that can afford housing is $110,356
  • The median income for residents that spend more than 50% of their income on housing is $49,367

Least Affordable Cities to Own a Home in California

In California, the average person will spend 30% of their income on housing. However, there are some areas of the state, notably in the around the Los Angeles area where residents need to spend upwards of 60% of their income to afford housing.      What is striking about the data is the least affordable areas are not the ones with the most expensive homes in terms of monthly costs. Rather, there are pockets of towns scattered throughout LA county and the Bay Area where housing costs are below or about average for the state of California, but the median income for residents of those towns are just simply not high enough to comfortably afford living there.

The Most Affordable Cities to Own a Home in California

The most affordable places to own a home in California are mostly located in the Bay Area or in the Central California. Only one is found in Los Angeles. Here residents are less cost burdened, and pay roughly 23% to 30% of their income toward housing.

Interestingly, the median income for the top ten areas is approximately $117,000 – which is nearly double the median income for California. It underscores the fact that in California residents need to earn far more than the average in order to afford a home.

The Full Data

We encourage you to explore our data to see how your city ranks. We looked at over 300 cities and towns in California where the population was over 25,000.

Rank (Least Affordable to Most)CityTotal PopulationMedian Yearly IncomeMonthly Housing CostsMedian Home ValueAffordability Margin
1Westmont33,532$30,864$1,868$349,50072.6%
2Hawthorne87,425$47,636$2,373$461,40059.8%
3Huntington Park58,993$38,106$1,852$357,50058.3%
4Maywood27,700$37,508$1,784$350,80057.1%
5Glendale199,750$58,657$2,732$675,30055.9%
6Bell35,942$39,686$1,845$352,00055.8%
7Los Angeles3,949,776$54,501$2,531$549,80055.7%
8San Luis Obispo46,997$49,640$2,279$590,80055.1%
9Florence-Graham63,821$36,289$1,661$301,00054.9%
10Bell Gardens42,845$39,008$1,760$347,30054.1%
11East Palo Alto29,646$58,783$2,596$600,20053.0%
12Imperial Beach27,270$49,950$2,169$433,40052.1%
13West Hollywood36,148$66,458$2,849$684,20051.4%
14El Cajon103,314$49,445$2,099$403,70050.9%
15El Monte115,958$43,504$1,838$401,00050.7%
16Coachella44,382$34,300$1,446$183,80050.6%
17Santa Cruz63,993$65,421$2,757$750,60050.6%
18Inglewood111,006$46,389$1,951$389,60050.5%
19Santa Monica92,495$86,084$3,616$1,168,50050.4%
20Monterey Park61,056$55,117$2,311$566,70050.3%
21San Gabriel40,315$55,939$2,323$628,30049.8%
22Santa Barbara91,443$71,160$2,919$934,50049.2%
23National60,715$43,168$1,768$345,40049.1%
24Fallbrook31,121$56,468$2,302$463,40048.9%
25Alhambra85,168$55,401$2,256$553,80048.9%
26Gardena60,096$50,807$2,065$407,00048.8%
27Rosemead54,615$50,074$2,030$489,70048.6%
28Arden-Arcade98,616$48,156$1,924$333,90047.9%
29Lynwood71,350$45,839$1,830$345,10047.9%
30Westminster91,785$57,575$2,291$546,20047.7%
31Berkeley120,179$75,709$2,977$861,80047.2%
32Oakland417,442$63,251$2,480$564,50047.1%
33Montebello63,468$50,312$1,972$441,50047.0%
34Palm Springs47,140$48,126$1,885$340,60047.0%
35Watsonville53,452$51,548$2,018$397,90047.0%
36Davis67,500$63,071$2,468$594,00047.0%
37Burbank104,765$69,118$2,694$646,00046.8%
38South Gate95,420$47,281$1,837$351,00046.6%
39Bellflower77,852$52,944$2,044$398,00046.3%
40Beverly Hills34,506$103,698$4,001$2,000,00146.3%
41East Los Angeles123,905$42,544$1,636$349,20046.1%
42Long Beach470,489$58,314$2,234$476,40046.0%
43Eureka27,024$39,720$1,520$249,30045.9%
44Stanton38,648$50,601$1,904$339,00045.2%
45Lawndale33,191$54,862$2,061$417,60045.1%
46San Marcos93,493$70,417$2,580$455,70044.0%
47Adelanto32,867$34,446$1,260$151,60043.9%
48Chico90,660$45,337$1,658$286,70043.9%
49Cathedral53,733$43,384$1,585$232,40043.8%
50Escondido150,783$58,834$2,147$396,20043.8%
51Calexico39,953$38,015$1,383$182,90043.7%
52San Rafael59,180$85,931$3,120$816,70043.6%
53Vista99,496$59,833$2,172$423,50043.6%
54Monterey28,671$73,942$2,663$696,20043.2%
55Desert Hot Springs28,298$34,251$1,228$154,60043.0%
56Arcadia58,156$90,666$3,248$994,40043.0%
57La Mesa59,479$59,629$2,134$455,80042.9%
58Hemet83,604$37,171$1,327$157,50042.8%
59Pasadena141,231$76,264$2,717$689,70042.8%
60Seaside34,259$57,653$2,050$413,60042.7%
61Fullerton139,976$71,660$2,540$589,60042.5%
62South Pasadena25,974$92,756$3,283$928,50042.5%
63Anaheim349,007$65,313$2,305$491,40042.3%
64Temple36,214$69,853$2,464$661,00042.3%
65Paramount55,020$49,064$1,727$304,40042.2%
66Compton97,847$48,117$1,692$287,30042.2%
67El Centro43,932$43,581$1,524$172,80042.0%
68San Juan Capistrano35,948$81,730$2,858$635,10042.0%
69Upland76,155$65,349$2,271$465,20041.7%
70Costa Mesa112,930$75,109$2,610$671,80041.7%
71Oildale34,496$38,574$1,339$136,10041.7%
72Downey113,358$68,162$2,366$479,50041.7%
73Santa Ana334,493$57,151$1,982$421,60041.6%
74Palm Desert51,675$56,262$1,951$328,30041.6%
75Dana Point34,028$90,310$3,131$833,80041.6%
76Monrovia37,138$71,373$2,473$606,00041.6%
77San Francisco864,263$96,265$3,332$927,40041.5%
78Santa Paula30,344$55,090$1,906$349,50041.5%
79Rowland Heights50,572$66,246$2,288$594,40041.4%
80Oceanside174,811$61,778$2,126$423,10041.3%
81Salinas156,811$54,864$1,887$342,10041.3%
82Lompoc43,762$49,074$1,687$269,10041.3%
83Chula Vista264,101$70,197$2,405$433,50041.1%
84San Bernardino215,252$41,027$1,405$202,10041.1%
85Indio86,867$49,951$1,709$247,90041.1%
86Garden Grove174,812$62,675$2,138$476,30040.9%
87Whittier86,852$69,058$2,353$488,20040.9%
88Tustin80,007$73,567$2,498$585,70040.7%
89Redding91,236$46,389$1,573$245,10040.7%
90San Pablo30,720$47,459$1,606$270,40040.6%
91Burlingame30,401$118,410$4,001$1,591,60040.5%
92Redwood84,368$99,026$3,346$1,016,70040.5%
93Pomona152,366$53,281$1,792$344,20040.4%
94Walnut Creek68,516$86,845$2,920$704,90040.3%
95Spring Valley (San Diego County)30,439$62,734$2,108$407,20040.3%
96Newport Beach86,793$119,379$4,001$1,695,70040.2%
97Highland54,704$55,130$1,846$288,50040.2%
98Florin49,226$40,959$1,371$187,40040.2%
99Banning30,824$39,700$1,325$197,50040.1%
100Azusa49,029$57,728$1,925$367,50040.0%
101San Diego1,390,966$71,535$2,377$523,60039.9%
102Merced82,008$40,704$1,350$185,70039.8%
103San Leandro89,910$66,178$2,194$474,50039.8%
104El Paso de Robles (Paso Robles)31,409$61,053$2,008$404,70039.5%
105Fresno519,037$44,853$1,474$206,80039.4%
106Lemon Grove26,645$60,309$1,977$367,70039.3%
107Richmond108,853$61,045$1,994$371,90039.2%
108Stockton304,358$48,396$1,580$220,60039.2%
109La Presa36,225$61,568$2,009$348,90039.2%
110Oxnard206,732$64,837$2,090$390,00038.7%
111Los Banos37,559$46,994$1,511$226,70038.6%
112West Sacramento52,206$59,586$1,914$304,60038.5%
113Lancaster160,113$49,314$1,580$213,10038.4%
114San Clemente65,226$101,843$3,257$849,30038.4%
115Reedley25,419$43,036$1,375$174,10038.3%
116Torrance147,190$85,070$2,717$687,90038.3%
117Lodi64,403$52,244$1,667$269,40038.3%
118Alameda78,246$89,045$2,833$729,10038.2%
119Santa Rosa174,244$67,144$2,134$458,50038.1%
120Culver39,432$86,997$2,752$735,60038.0%
121Covina48,601$68,311$2,158$441,10037.9%
122Wasco26,378$36,681$1,153$155,80037.7%
123Santa Maria104,791$55,485$1,744$297,20037.7%
124Baldwin Park76,572$57,209$1,797$357,50037.7%
125Colton54,200$47,256$1,482$212,10037.6%
126Irvine256,877$95,573$2,993$753,40037.6%
127Sacramento489,650$54,615$1,707$287,60037.5%
128Novato55,378$89,812$2,805$677,50037.5%
129South Whittier60,000$63,010$1,967$419,80037.5%
130Hayward156,917$74,927$2,339$462,00037.5%
131Porterville58,782$39,909$1,243$163,10037.4%
132San Buenaventura (Ventura)110,153$72,859$2,269$493,80037.4%
133Yucaipa53,151$58,166$1,808$275,60037.3%
134Buena Park83,020$71,005$2,189$482,30037.0%
135Delano52,709$38,708$1,193$167,90037.0%
136Gilroy54,159$86,742$2,673$583,90037.0%
137North Highlands47,357$41,315$1,273$168,30037.0%
138San Mateo103,500$103,399$3,174$921,70036.8%
139Yuba66,229$51,037$1,562$230,90036.7%
140Huntington Beach200,415$88,079$2,693$688,70036.7%
141Napa79,722$75,341$2,301$536,80036.6%
142Woodland58,324$60,446$1,844$316,50036.6%
143La Habra61,965$72,178$2,201$473,20036.6%
144Corona163,585$73,594$2,240$411,60036.5%
145Madera64,058$40,731$1,237$180,40036.4%
146Montclair38,613$54,192$1,643$304,20036.4%
147Rohnert Park42,305$62,769$1,901$377,20036.3%
148Redondo Beach67,950$104,548$3,159$817,30036.3%
149Vallejo120,599$62,272$1,879$295,60036.2%
150Los Gatos town30,709$132,671$4,001$1,476,70036.2%
151Carmichael65,091$60,466$1,823$334,90036.2%
152Orange140,289$83,500$2,516$604,30036.2%
153Pico Rivera63,750$61,586$1,854$380,20036.1%
154Menlo Park33,661$132,928$4,001$1,764,60036.1%
155Ontario171,041$57,544$1,732$320,00036.1%
156Turlock71,906$53,661$1,613$267,10036.1%
157Daly106,480$86,342$2,589$651,60036.0%
158Goleta30,847$87,068$2,609$718,30036.0%
159San Jacinto46,932$48,025$1,438$188,20035.9%
160Belmont27,110$125,958$3,763$1,174,20035.9%
161San Bruno43,105$94,705$2,826$754,70035.8%
162Placentia52,294$88,501$2,640$585,80035.8%
163Campbell41,164$108,498$3,234$884,60035.8%
164Norwalk106,404$63,669$1,896$375,40035.7%
165San Jose1,023,031$96,662$2,872$714,20035.7%
166Carlsbad113,147$102,722$3,043$713,60035.5%
167Perris75,011$54,657$1,617$239,80035.5%
168Redlands70,765$68,956$2,031$350,90035.3%
169Concord128,160$76,500$2,253$461,70035.3%
170Fountain Valley56,640$86,602$2,534$654,10035.1%
171Victorville121,721$47,895$1,401$177,60035.1%
172Menifee86,820$60,808$1,778$278,30035.1%
173Altadena45,236$88,774$2,595$649,80035.1%
174Rancho Cordova70,785$57,965$1,690$251,50035.0%
175South San Francisco67,120$92,074$2,682$697,40035.0%
176Encinitas62,595$103,842$3,016$862,30034.9%
177Lake Elsinore62,229$66,032$1,917$306,40034.8%
178La Puente40,451$60,019$1,742$364,30034.8%
179Rialto102,708$54,962$1,594$260,20034.8%
180Paradise town26,437$48,831$1,415$205,50034.8%
181West Covina107,786$74,551$2,158$459,50034.7%
182Morgan Hill43,136$107,161$3,098$729,90034.7%
183Riverside321,570$62,460$1,805$319,20034.7%
184Brawley25,959$43,469$1,256$158,00034.7%
185Pittsburg69,449$66,739$1,927$324,50034.6%
186Laguna Niguel65,429$99,206$2,859$737,40034.6%
187West Whittier-Los Nietos27,002$67,980$1,959$390,00034.6%
188Antioch110,026$69,925$2,013$330,90034.5%
189San Dimas34,334$81,242$2,336$513,30034.5%
190Citrus Heights86,618$54,373$1,562$246,60034.5%
191Atascadero29,797$72,240$2,069$433,90034.4%
192Apple Valley town71,916$50,907$1,455$215,80034.3%
193Modesto210,166$54,024$1,544$236,20034.3%
194Chino85,609$75,530$2,146$400,90034.1%
195Palmdale157,358$56,699$1,610$229,20034.1%
196Twentynine Palms25,995$41,509$1,178$120,90034.1%
197Fair Oaks30,704$75,696$2,143$417,50034.0%
198Fontana207,086$68,304$1,933$323,30034.0%
199Mountain View80,076$120,351$3,404$1,079,90033.9%
200La Verne32,320$82,829$2,339$535,90033.9%
201Rancho Palos Verdes42,463$124,552$3,517$1,051,00033.9%
202Hollister37,182$77,823$2,196$415,90033.9%
203Brea41,921$90,214$2,545$610,70033.9%
204Ceres47,650$51,113$1,439$218,30033.8%
205Lemoore25,525$54,471$1,523$199,20033.6%
206Castro Valley63,625$92,233$2,568$634,60033.4%
207Petaluma60,210$84,949$2,365$556,90033.4%
208Union74,354$95,625$2,659$620,20033.4%
209Foothill Farms33,627$48,438$1,342$201,20033.2%
210Soledad25,603$55,917$1,545$293,60033.2%
211Claremont35,949$96,923$2,674$605,70033.1%
212Cypress49,108$90,345$2,490$576,50033.1%
213Tulare62,296$49,584$1,366$177,50033.1%
214Murrieta110,043$80,373$2,213$367,40033.0%
215Rancho Cucamonga174,573$83,736$2,301$444,20033.0%
216Carson92,927$75,517$2,070$402,50032.9%
217Santa Clarita209,489$90,544$2,476$461,50032.8%
218Hacienda Heights54,155$81,379$2,223$545,40032.8%
219Fairfield112,790$75,292$2,054$341,50032.7%
220Glendora51,891$86,442$2,356$517,10032.7%
221Hesperia93,190$49,726$1,354$199,20032.7%
222Manteca75,314$68,019$1,849$319,60032.6%
223Palo Alto67,082$147,537$4,001$1,989,30032.5%
224Walnut30,062$98,329$2,664$703,80032.5%
225Santa Clara124,635$108,609$2,934$831,60032.4%
226Atwater29,118$50,181$1,355$179,40032.4%
227Poway49,874$102,338$2,762$620,50032.4%
228Simi Valley126,546$93,516$2,523$508,60032.4%
229Visalia130,047$54,934$1,481$207,40032.4%
230Laguna Hills31,235$99,797$2,684$649,70032.3%
231Santee57,376$81,430$2,190$397,20032.3%
232Bakersfield372,680$60,058$1,614$228,40032.2%
233Manhattan Beach35,698$148,899$4,001$1,694,90032.2%
234Vacaville96,918$77,807$2,090$354,60032.2%
235Beaumont43,641$71,664$1,924$275,20032.2%
236Jurupa Valley102,202$63,286$1,698$308,90032.2%
237Norco26,711$91,915$2,466$476,90032.2%
238Clovis104,411$68,682$1,839$284,20032.1%
239Thousand Oaks128,909$103,793$2,768$663,60032.0%
240Pacifica39,141$106,959$2,841$740,70031.9%
241Moreno Valley203,691$59,827$1,584$260,60031.8%
242Wildomar35,492$67,510$1,786$308,10031.7%
243Rancho Santa Margarita49,078$106,939$2,829$619,20031.7%
244Camarillo67,116$92,780$2,453$541,60031.7%
245La Quinta40,305$76,131$2,010$376,10031.7%
246Brentwood58,828$96,945$2,548$482,60031.5%
247Lincoln46,404$78,647$2,059$389,90031.4%
248Lakewood81,106$84,055$2,200$475,80031.4%
249Moorpark36,060$102,145$2,662$592,50031.3%
250Roseville130,705$81,119$2,110$386,30031.2%
251Newark45,554$96,817$2,516$607,20031.2%
252Windsor town27,423$91,032$2,357$504,50031.1%
253Milpitas75,498$110,752$2,860$704,30031.0%
254Hanford55,599$55,327$1,425$192,90030.9%
255Cerritos50,145$98,953$2,548$638,60030.9%
256Lafayette25,792$152,609$3,921$1,214,20030.8%
257La Mirada49,162$87,400$2,242$478,40030.8%
258Sunnyvale151,565$118,314$3,035$968,70030.8%
259San Carlos29,954$152,521$3,904$1,240,80030.7%
260Rocklin61,697$91,995$2,351$421,70030.7%
261Livermore88,232$109,084$2,784$643,20030.6%
262Ladera Ranch28,769$152,923$3,892$803,40030.5%
263Yorba Linda67,740$123,962$3,153$792,70030.5%
264Aliso Viejo50,691$106,353$2,699$582,30030.5%
265Tracy87,613$84,162$2,135$378,90030.4%
266Diamond Bar56,600$94,531$2,397$614,80030.4%
267Valinda25,080$72,255$1,825$385,90030.3%
268Temecula110,722$87,115$2,190$394,60030.2%
269Lake Forest81,812$96,963$2,437$585,10030.2%
270San Ramon75,048$142,718$3,572$863,80030.0%
271Eastvale59,733$110,685$2,767$496,00030.0%
272North Tustin25,364$134,519$3,362$871,60030.0%
273Galt25,222$68,908$1,707$270,30029.7%
274Orcutt30,001$79,237$1,960$367,50029.7%
275Pleasant Hill34,662$101,530$2,507$633,40029.6%
276Orangevale34,467$75,208$1,855$331,40029.6%
277Cupertino60,687$153,449$3,760$1,372,80029.4%
278Foster33,529$136,383$3,338$1,051,00029.4%
279San Lorenzo25,101$89,961$2,183$476,60029.1%
280Martinez37,902$98,102$2,377$505,40029.1%
281Chino Hills78,025$102,746$2,489$567,20029.1%
282Mission Viejo96,535$107,988$2,596$640,80028.8%
283Elk Grove166,228$85,556$2,056$349,50028.8%
284Suisun29,280$75,195$1,806$293,10028.8%
285Benicia28,011$95,225$2,284$515,80028.8%
286Temescal Valley25,411$96,956$2,317$396,20028.7%
287Dublin57,022$138,007$3,294$756,80028.6%
288Pleasanton79,341$138,269$3,287$879,80028.5%
289Antelope47,728$70,840$1,682$275,00028.5%
290Danville town44,205$152,798$3,602$976,80028.3%
291Fremont230,964$122,191$2,869$785,70028.2%
292El Dorado Hills45,104$126,520$2,931$575,20027.8%
293Saratoga31,013$173,136$4,001$1,933,90027.7%
294Vineyard27,585$83,313$1,920$343,90027.7%
295Hercules25,260$107,221$2,448$457,30027.4%
296Oakley39,950$89,392$2,033$356,00027.3%
297French Valley31,353$104,560$2,363$377,90027.1%
298Ridgecrest28,728$60,794$1,352$169,50026.7%
299Folsom75,897$106,718$2,371$456,60026.7%
300Los Altos30,527$208,309$4,001$2,000,00123.0%

Methodology

To find the least and most affordable cities in California we turned to the 2017 American Community Survey. We pulled data from the Housing survey as well as the Economic survey to get a fuller picture on home owner affordability in every CDP in California. We then filtered for only CDPs with greater than 25,000 people. To get the affordability margin we took the median monthly housing costs which include mortgage, insurance and tax costs and multiplied by 12. We then divided that amount by the median income for each CDP.

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