14 Cities in California To Buy Where Home Prices Are Dropping Significantly


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©Shutterstock.com

California’s unique and wide range of beauty — from mountains great for skiing, to lakes, hiking trails and bustling cities — have long attracted people to live amidst its famed golden hills. However, with those qualities often come extremely high prices.

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But while many parts of the state do remain pricey to buy a home, some cities in California are showing signs of a housing decline that might just work in a new homebuyer’s interest. Many of the cities on this list are in the northern part of the state, up where coastal fog settles into the dense redwoods the area is famed for.

GOBankingRates lays out the 14 cities in California where home prices are dropping fast, and where you could perhaps purchase your home in the West Coast state that has it all.

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DashaR / Shutterstock.com

14. Sausalito

  • April 2024 Home Value: $1,896,936

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -2.13%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$41,265

The city of Sausalito is a waterfront town in Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, with a population of around 7,100 people. Its nearness to San Francisco makes it ideal for people who want a quaint community that still has access to city life and amenities. While home prices are still high here, things may be trending toward affordability.

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RnDmS / Getty Images/iStockphotoRnDmS / Getty Images/iStockphoto

RnDmS / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13. Kelsyville

  • April 2024 Home Value: $362,337

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -2.16%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$7,989

Located in Lake County, California, Kelsyville is a great small town for outdoors lovers, situated at the base of Mount Konocti and bordering Clear Lake. The town also offers wineries, restaurants and lots of fun outdoor activities. Home values are quite affordable and declining.

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©Shutterstock.com

12. McKinleyville

  • April 2024 Home Value: $492,652

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -2.82%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$14,304

Located in Humboldt County, home to the largest redwoods in the country and access to California’s beautiful Pacific Ocean, McKinleyville is one of Northern California’s fastest-growing cities where buying a home is a reality.

Wollertz / Shutterstock.comWollertz / Shutterstock.com

Wollertz / Shutterstock.com

11. Fort Bragg

  • April 2024 Home Value: $560,132

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -3.13%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$18,115

The City of Fort Bragg is about 165 miles north of San Francisco in picturesque Mendocino County. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this bucolic little town offers a quaint historic downtown with lots of great places to eat, tons of state parks, a mild climate and an economy that draws a healthy amount of tourism without being overrun. Though home prices are a bit higher here than other Northern California towns, that’s changing.

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trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com

10. West Hollywood

  • April 2024 Home Value: $1,689,141

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -3.25%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$56,809

West Hollywood gained its own right as a city in the late ’80s. It’s just 1.9 square miles, situated in the middle of Los Angeles. According to the city’s website, “[It] is a robust economic and cultural center instilled with idealism and creativity” that boasts “a spirit of community activism and civic pride.” While it’s still not cheap to buy here, there may be room for negotiation.

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Symbiotic Athlete / Shutterstock.com

9. Lakeport

  • April 2024 Home Value: $366,437

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -3.35%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$12,695

The city of Lakeport is located in Lake County “in the heart of Northern California’s wine country just north of the San Francisco Bay Area,” according to the City’s website. The city’s name derives from its location along the west shore of Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California. Outdoor enthusiasts and foodies will enjoy life here, as the area is considered one of the fastest-growing winemaking regions in the country. It’s an excellent area to buy in now before prices start spiking again.

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphotobenedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Fortuna

  • April 2024 Home Value: $418,277

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -3.48%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$15,071

If you love redwoods, the ocean and the outdoors in general, you’ll love Fortuna, which the Humboldt County Tourism Bureau calls “The friendly city in the redwood forest.”

The quaint Northern California town is very close to the beautiful Eel River, but also to major thoroughfare, Highway 101 and a place that thrives in the warmer months with national festivals such as Art and Wine in the Park and the Apple Harvest Festival. Take advantage of decline in home value and get into the market now.

Pgiam / Getty ImagesPgiam / Getty Images

Pgiam / Getty Images

7. Arcata

  • April 2024 Home Value: $510,479

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -3.98%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$21,151

Yet another redwood-centric, coastal Northern California town on this list, Arcata is not only a lovely place for ocean and nature lovers, but a college town. Home to Humboldt State University, Arcata couples a small-town experience with a beautiful natural setting, and it’s not far from bigger cities like Eureka and Fort Bragg. The decline in home value is great for anyone hoping to buy in to a college town.

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Jairo Rene Leiva / Shutterstock.com

6. Eureka

  • April 2024 Home Value: $415,360

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -4.05%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$17,517

Yet another city in Humboldt County, Eureka is the center of the “Redwood Coast.” Here you can visit the Avenue of The Giants, home to the world’s tallest trees, and also have access to rivers and the gorgeous pacific ocean.

The city is also known for its culturally protected Victorian architecture, a culture of creativity and an adorable downtown full of shopping and restaurants. You may not see prices like this again, so it’s a great time to buy.

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 3Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 3

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 3

5. Twentynine Palms

  • April 2024 Home Value: $261,840

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -4.22%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$11,529

Twentynine Palms, California, is one of the only Southern California cities on this list. It’s the home of Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave Trails National Monument, located in the Mojave Desert. For people who don’t mind hot summers and love the unique beauty the desert offers, it’s a beautiful community of outdoors enthusiasts and history lovers, among others. The 2024 average home value here is the second lowest on the list, and getting lower.

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Beto Chagas / Shutterstock.com

4. Emeryville

  • April 2024 Home Value: $774,262

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -4.51%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$36,597

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, just a heartbeat away from Berkeley, California, Emeryville is one of the area’s tiniest towns, at just 1.2 square miles. Though it’s smack dab beside wealthy neighborhoods, it appeals to people with a wider range of income levels. According to a San Francisco Chronicle review, Emeryville is “a surprisingly dynamic place filled with scenic trails, historic architecture, a well-established art scene, unique food options galore and an impressive new park.”

Finding home values under $1 million in the Bay Area is getting harder and harder, making this a great time to get in on the market.

CampPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphotoCampPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

CampPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Clearlake

  • April 2024 Home Value: $217,921

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -5.62%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$12,981

Clearlake, California, is one of three cities in Lake County on this list, and one of two that sits overlooking the lake itself. Originally the home of the Pomo Native Americans, it attracts people who love to boat and kayak on the lake, as well as people looking for a more rural type of living. With a home value that’s lower than most cities in the state, this is a great time for affordable living.

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©Shutterstock.com

2. Ukiah

  • April 2024 Home Value: $475,866

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -6.52%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$33,195

Nestled approximately halfway between San Francisco and Eureka, Ukiah is a growing city off California’s Highway 101 that offers equal parts solid city life and pastoral tourist attractions. As part of the Ukiah Valley’s wine country, and the tip of Mendocino County, Ukiah is a great place to call home. With a $33,000 home value drop, now may be the time to buy in before prices rise again.

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Peter Burnett / Getty ImagesPeter Burnett / Getty Images

Peter Burnett / Getty Images

1. Willits

  • April 2024 Home Value: -10.01%

  • YoY Percentage Change in Home: -10.01%

  • YoY Dollar Change In Home: -$39,717

Willits is considered “the gateway to the redwoods” according to the city website, as it marks the start of the “Redwood Coast” where the tallest trees in the world grow. It’s a thriving agricultural region, and not far from other cities like Ukiah, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. With the biggest drop in home values of any city on this list, it may be the perfect time to buy a home in this town.

Photo disclaimer: Photos are just for illustrative purposes. Some pictures may not reflect the town on the slide.

Methodology: For this piece GOBankingRates looked at all California cities within the 5,000 largest housing markets according to Zillow’s April 2024 data. From there GOBankingRates found the year-over-year (April 23 to April 24) percent AND monetary change in home value as well as year-to-date (Jan 24 to April 24) percent and monetary change in home value. Only the cities with the worst in YoY home value percent change were included. All data is up to date as of May 20, 2024.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 14 Cities in California To Buy Where Home Prices Are Dropping Significantly



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