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Study: 8 of 10 Most Expensive Markets in California

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Another day, another study to wrap your head around: Eight out of ten of the country’s most expensive housing markets are in California, according to the just-released Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI). This study is unique in that it doesn't compare median prices like most studies, but compares the sale price of a 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home. This is a residence that Coldwell Banker believes would be owned by someone in a middle management position (ie, not a starter home). So Coldwell is simply taking the same home and placing it 315 markets across the country. "It's a snapshot study," says David Siroty, senior director of public relations at Coldwell. "It's a barometer, and not the end all, be all. But it's useful for someone considering relocating or buying a second home." The study didn't consider Los Angeles or Manhattan, for instance, because the latter isn't considered a single-family home market and in the case of the former, they wanted to "spread it around" and include areas like Santa Monica instead. Top of the list: La Jolla, where the average sale price for a 2,200-square-foot house is currently $1.8 million.