California is one of the states in the U.S. where dreams really do come true. From the majestic sceneries up and down the coastline to the variety of fresh foods and the industries of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, California truly has it all. And it's going to cost you to live there.
In case you haven't been to the Golden State in a while or checked home prices, one thing to know before you decide to move there is that it's expensive. Not only are essentials like gas and food more pricey, but real estate is at the top of the market.
Has your California dream turned into a nightmare? Fear not, because GoBankingRates is breaking down the eight cities in California where home prices have gone down drastically and where you could perhaps purchase your home on the West Coast state that has it all.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $1,196,667
- 3-month change in price: minus-$188,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-15.74%
The City by the Bay has something to offer everyone, especially if you are in the tech or entrepreneurial sector for work. But the cost of rent is out of this world.
Despite the rate of rent going up 101% in 2021, more young professionals are moving to San Francisco, making it the perfect place to start your career and become a homebuyer all in one place.
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- Sept. Median Sale Price: $1,480,000
- 3-month change in price: minus-$173,833
- 3-month change in price: minus-11.75%
Just down the peninsula from San Francisco is San Jose, the epic center of Silicon Valley with access to mountains, beaches and lots of nature surrounding the city limits.
Plus, it's the new place to strike it rich. San Jose has the highest number of wealthy individuals in the world: One in every 727 citizens is worth $30 million, according to the 2021 Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report. Find your way here while the housing market is as fair as the city's idyllic weather.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $518,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-$41,667
- 3-month change in price: minus-8.04%
Stockton might not have the culture cache of other California cities, but it's a great place to buy a home and put down roots. Centered right in the heart of the Central Valley, housing prices are significantly lower than other urban metro areas by almost a third of a city like San Francisco.
While being one of the agricultural centers of the state, it's only about a 90-minute drive away from The Bay Area. But don't think you need to drive that far east to find culture because Stockton is home to The Haggins Museum, the historic Bob Hope Theatre and the University Park World Peace Rose Garden.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $901,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-$63,667
- 3-month change in price: minus-7.06%
Lights! Camera! Los Angeles! The City of Angels is one of the most iconic cities in the world. With housing prices dropping, it's more affordable to live in Los Angeles and make your dreams of fame and stardom come true.
But it's not just Hollywood glitz and glamour that Los Angeles has to offer. If you are a foodie or just someone who likes a good meal, LA is home to some of the best and most diverse cuisine from around the world.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $853,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-$55,000
- 3-month change in price: minus-6.45%
Looking to put down roots but still stay classy? San Diego can be your home for a very affordable price right now. America's Finest City, as it is called, is known for beaches and sunny days for most of the year.
It's also a terrific place to get an education, with UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene and University of San Diego all offering high-ranking undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $818,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-$50,000
- 3-month change in price: minus-6.11%
Oxnard might be one of the cities in California you've never heard of, but don't count it out as a metro destination for being your next hometown.
Along with the wonderful outdoor access to sprawling fields and incredible coasts, there's plenty of access to other urban centers, such as Ventura and Simi Valley. Los Angeles is about an hour drive away, making it the perfect suburban enclave.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $572,833
- 3-month change in price: minus-$30,500
- 3-month change in price: minus-5.32%
Sacramento is the capital of California and one of the best cities to buy a home in right now. Even if you are not in politics, Sacramento has roughly 18,000 job openings and the city's economic growth is surpassing that of other California cities.
Plus, residents report the traffic as being "pretty mild" most of the time, making it easy to get around town. Not only that, but all of the money you'll save on cost of living can be spent on a vacation to Lake Tahoe or quickly hopping on a plane from the international airport.
- Sept. Median Sale Price: $545,000
- 3-month change in price: minus-$25,333
- 3-month change in price: minus-4.65%
Situated just in between its sister cities of Los Angeles and San Diego is Riverside, a great place to buy a home, as well as be entertained. While LA might have movies and television locked down, there's a thriving art and performance scene in Riverside.
Make sure to check out the Fox Performing Arts Center, the Riverside Municipal Auditorium and Events Center and the Riverside Art Museum. If you're interested in history, Riverside has institutions such as the Mission Inn Museum and Riverside Metropolitan Museum to quench the thirst for knowledge from scholars of all fields.
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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates used Zillow's September 2022 median sale price data to determine where home sale prices in California are falling the most. First GOBankingRates limited the scope to the largest metro areas in California and from there isolated the September 2022 median sale price for each as well as the June 2022 median sale price. With these two figures isolated, GOBankingRates was able to find (1) the numerical change in median sale price over the last three months and (2) the percent change in median sale price over the last three months. Only factor (2) was used in determining rank. All data was collected and is up to date as of Nov. 28, 2022.