La Jolla is recognized around the world for topping many lists. It has some of the best beaches, one of the world's top golf courses and is home to several of Forbes magazine's richest. This coastal community continues to rank as one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S.
Each year Coldwell Banker Real Estate releases a home listings report that names the most expensive and most affordable markets. This report compares prices of four-bedroom, two-bedroom homes in 296 cities. La Jolla ranked as the fifth most expensive market this year, down from No. 1 last year. The average listing price was $1.21 million this year.
Gellens said the typical buyers in this neighborhood range from families to move-up buyers, entrepreneurs who can work from home or individuals buying second and third homes.
She said La Jolla hosts a low-key lifestyle, European ambiance and is a self-contained community with mostly single-family homes.
"We just put into escrow a basic 70s teardown in the Upper Shores for $4 million. Buyer plans to tear it down," said Gellens, who works with her daughter Marti Gellens. "We just closed a vacate lot in La Jolla Farms for $6.25 million. So there are still very expensive transactions happening."
Silverman, who has been selling real estate in San Diego County for 20-plus years, said a three-bedroom, one-bath house in Bird Rock might sell for $800,000 to $900,000, while a similarly sized house in Del Sur would fetch $500,000.
"It is all about the exclusivity and lure," she added. "In 92037, your home value stays strong longer."
There is a $1.14 million difference between La Jolla's average price and the average price in what the Coldwell Banker report deemed to be the most affordable city in the nation—Detroit. To put that into perspective, let's compare monthly mortgage payments. If a buyer took out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the monthly payments in Detroit would be $415 verses $7,393 in La Jolla. It pays to have an ocean view and fresh air.
Comparatively, the media home price in San Diego County last month was $390,000 for single family homes and $212,900 for attached multifamily units, according to the San Diego Association of Realtors.
Newport Beach topped Coldwell Bankers' most expensive list with the average four-bedroom, two-bath house going for $1.83 million, followed by Palo Alto at $1.48 million. Rye, NY, north of New York City, is third at $1.33 million and San Francisco is in fourth place with an average price of $1.325 million.
Some of the most affordable markets included Sioux City, IA, at $85,967, Cleveland, OH, with an average listing price of $87,240, and Kansas City, MO, at $112,449 for comparable houses.
In Coldwell Banker's 2009 report, La Jolla was the most expensive real estate market in the country, with an average listing price of $2.13 million, topping prestigious neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and Greenwich, CT.
La Jolla has topped the most expensive list four out of the last six years.