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California has two-thirds of the priciest ZIP Codes for home buyers during pandemic

The Bel-Air West Gate located at Sunset and Bellagio
Bel-Air’s 90077 ZIP Code is one of the priciest in the U.S.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A study from real estate marketplace PropertyClub has confirmed what many Angelenos already know: Buying a home in California — during a pandemic or not — is expensive.

The study, which analyzed all residential sales during the pandemic between March 13 and Sept. 7, found that California holds 87 of the 130 priciest ZIP Codes in the country, or about 67%.

Except for a dip when stay-at-home orders were first announced in the spring, Southern California’s hot housing market has barely skipped a beat because of COVID-19. September saw the median price hit an all-time high for the fourth straight month, rising 15.3% year over year.

As in years past, the ultra-affluent town of Atherton took the top spot, with a median sale price of $6.69 million. The ritzy Silicon Valley suburb is a short drive from Palo Alto and San Francisco and serves as a swanky playground for tech execs.

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Beverly Hills’ 90210 ZIP Code ranked second, with the median home trading hands for $4.084 million. The last few months alone have seen some gargantuan sales in the area, as Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg sold his six-acre estate for a whopping $125 million — the third-priciest home sale in California history. Other big ones include David Geffen buying a modern mansion for $68 million and LeBron James dropping $36.75 million on the longtime home of soap opera creator Lee Phillip Bell.

Santa Monica’s 90402 ranked fifth with a median price of $3.625 million, and three other Bay Area ZIP Codes landed in the top 10: Ross’ 94957 at $3.605 million, Los Altos’ 94022 at $3.575 million and Portola Valley’s 94028 at $3.494 million.

Many of Los Angeles County’s luxury pockets found themselves high on the list as well, including Pacific Palisades’ 90272 ZIP Code at No. 21 with a median price of $2.85 million and Malibu’s 90265 at No. 25 at $2.72 million. Last month, director James Cameron put his Malibu compound on the market for $25 million.

Others in the top 50 include Beverly Hills’ 90212, Manhattan Beach’s 90266, Bel-Air’s 90077 and Brentwood’s 90049.

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During the pandemic, buyers have begun to favor suburban settings over cities, according to the study. More than 80% of the priciest ZIP Codes from March to September were in suburban areas — including the entire top 10. The effect is most notable in New York, where Long Island has more entries on the list (nine) than Manhattan (eight).

In terms of California cities, San Francisco has the most ZIP Codes on the report with nine. L.A. has seven.

Just 15 states accounted for all 50 ZIP Codes on the list. In addition to California and New York, they were New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.


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