San Diego Is Most Expensive Place to Live in US: Report

San Diego Is Most Expensive Place to Live in US: Report

High-rise buildings in downtown San Diego on Oct. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

10/20/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

San Diego is known for its pristine beaches and gorgeous year-round weather, but it’s also the most expensive place to live in the United States, according to a new U.S. News and World Report study published on Oct. 18.
In second place as the most expensive was Los Angeles, with its allure as show-business central. In all, seven California cities made the top 10 this year.
The online consumer and business media outlet ranked larger metropolitan areas across the nation based on the median gross rent and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners to come up with its 2023–2024 list.
In San Diego, homebuyers can expect to pay an average of nearly $920,000 to buy property in the city, according to the report. The average age of residents in the San Diego area is 36 years old, and they make an average of $67,000 per year.
“San Diego offers world-class dining, professional sports, and entertainment options typical of a large metro area, but the patchwork of distinct neighborhoods fosters strong community ties,” the U.S. News and World Report states.
While median home price listings average about $1 million, the average price paid for a home was $899,000 in September, according to online real estate company Realtor.com. Overall, there were about 2,100 homes for sale, with the highest price tag reaching $38 million.
“Living in San Diego is not particularly affordable,” the report states. “Home prices are considerably higher than the national median sale price. Additionally, many living in the downtown area have to pay homeowners association fees, used to maintain common areas in apartment and condominium complexes.”
In Los Angeles, people from all over are still attracted to the city’s show business lifestyle, majestic beach cities, and surrounding mountains. The “intoxicating mix of free-spirited hope and relentless ambition is the defining characteristic of L.A. residents, who call themselves Angelenos,” the study states.
The average home price in the Los Angeles area is about $840,000, and the average monthly rent is $1,700, according to the report. The average age of Angelenos is nearly 37 years old, and they earn an average of $63,000 per year.
According to Realtor.com, Los Angeles had about 8,147 homes for sale in September, with the highest price tag reaching $155 million.
Los Angeles tied San Diego in overall value but had a lower quality of life, with heavy traffic and crime rates that were higher than the national rate, according to the study.
San Diego’s violent crime rate was also higher than the national average, but its property crime rate was lower. The city also had lower unemployment—reaching 10.3 percent—compared to Los Angeles’ 12.6 percent.
High-rise buildings in downtown San Diego on Oct. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

High-rise buildings in downtown San Diego on Oct. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Honolulu was ranked as the third-most expensive city in the nation with a high quality of life score. The Hawaiian metro continues to draw visitors who turn their vacation homes into permanent homes, according to the study. The Honolulu area has an average home price of nearly $582,000 and an average monthly rental rate of $1,900.
An average Honolulu resident is about 38 years old and makes about $62,000 per year. The city has a 12 percent unemployment rate.
Realtor.com reported in September that Honolulu had about 1,830 homes for sale, with the highest price reaching $30 million. The average listing price was $700,000.
In fourth place was Miami. The metro, with its diverse communities, is quickly becoming one of the largest international business hubs in the world, according to the study.
An average home in Miami costs about $610,000, and monthly rentals average about $1,500, according to the report. The typical resident is about 41 years old and makes an average salary of almost $55,000.
There were about 7,200 homes for sale in the Miami metro area, and the highest price reached $59 million last month, according to Realtor.com.
California cities dominated the second half of the top-10 list, with Santa Barbara coming in fifth; San Francisco, sixth; Salinas, seventh; Santa Rosa, eighth; and Vallejo and Fairfield tied for 10th.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, was ranked ninth among the most expensive U.S. cities, though it’s an unincorporated territory.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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