California

Where are the wealthiest zip codes in California? They have one thing in common

This may be the greatest house in all of San Francisco: $40.5 million

Despite a huge price drop, a San Francisco CA mansion on Lombard Street in Russian Hill with tremendous views of the city and bay is still the city’s most expensive listing. The house is for sale at $40.5 million, down from a $45 million price tag. 
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Despite a huge price drop, a San Francisco CA mansion on Lombard Street in Russian Hill with tremendous views of the city and bay is still the city’s most expensive listing. The house is for sale at $40.5 million, down from a $45 million price tag. 

California’s wealthiest zip codes all have one thing in common: They come with a waterfront view.

A new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that while California residents have $6.3 trillion in wealth — nearly a fifth of America’s total wealth — the assets are not evenly distributed across the Golden State.

Researchers analyzed data from 2014 to 2016 to compile the report of California’s wealthiest zip codes. The report defined wealth as “all of the valuable assets — such as stocks, bonds, and real estate — an individual owns.”

The report also defined net worth as “an individual’s wealth minus debts.”

The survey found that of California’s 1,650 zip codes, 30 of those zip codes held a fifth of the state’s entire net worth. All of those zip codes could be found along California’s coast.

Unsurprisingly, the Bay Area — home of Silicon Valley — was home to the single-highest concentration of wealth in the state, with an average net worth of more than $450,000 in each zip code in the San Francisco area, according to the report.

The report also found similar concentrations of extreme wealth in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.

By contrast, the average net worth for a zip code in the San Joaquin Valley was just $60,000. Even the wealthiest zip code in San Joaquin Valley, with an average net worth of $320,000, is lower than the average net worth of the Bay Area, according to the report. The report did not identify the zip codes.

Even within high-wealth regions, wealth is incredibly concentrated.

Within the Bay Area, 11 zip codes have an average net worth of $1.5 million per resident, while the net worth of about 15 percent of the region’s zip codes falls below $50,000 per resident.

The report also found that both wealthy and poorer zip codes tended to cluster together, forming enclaves surrounded by middle class buffers.

The full report can be found here.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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