Four Central Coast ZIP codes ranked the most expensive in America

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. - “This is a little embarrassing. When I bought my house, I bought it for $35,000. And I knew I was getting ripped off. Now this is back in the early early 70s,” Carmel resident Mike Brown said.

But now, some Carmel homes are on the market for four times that. In fact, the 93921 zip code came in at No. 122 out of 500 for the priciest areas in America.

Forbes magazine ranks the priciest ZIP codes every year and puts the median home price in the area at more than $2 million.

“It doesn’t surprise me. The desirability of this place is what is building up the property values and making the market so high,” Carmel resident Barbara Livingston said.

For even higher prices, just look a couple of miles up the road.

James Yu has been a Realtor on the Central Coast for nearly a decade.

“The name Pebble Beach, that goes a long way,” Yu said.

Pebble Beach comes in even higher at number 69 on that list with buyers stretching beyond the boundaries of our state and even the country.

“For the last five years, I’ve seen a lot of foreign national buyers,” Yu said.

Many of them scoop up homes with loads of cash.

But if you ask Mike Brown, he'd say he prefers things the way they used to be — locals could afford to live locally.

When it comes to his house, “On the market place, it’s worth over a million dollars. In my heart, it’s still a $35,000 home,” Brown said.

Carmel Valley and Santa Cruz also made the list, coming in at 444 and 460, respectively, with median home prices hovering $1.2 million.

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