Kensington, California Information
This town is the most expensive place to live in the Phoenix metro area. The median home value was $1,567,800 as of February 2016, and these prices have been increasing in recent years and are expected to continue steadily increasing. There was a 6.1% increase in value from 2014 to 2015, with a further 1.5% increase expected by the end of 2016. The median sale price is also high at $1,223,588. The median income of the city is $150,228 for singles and $164,811 for families, with a very high per capita income of $81,290. Forbes named the town the 71st most expensive in the United States in a 2012 study, and it was the most expensive not just in California but in the entire Southwest region.
Kensington, California Details
Kensington is a small community that is part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It sits in the Mission Hills, in an unincorporated area not far from the University of California. Though unincorporated, the community is part of Contra Costa County and has local jurisdiction over its public services. The Mission post office provides the community’s mail service and AC Transit, which serves both Oakland and Mission, operates bus lines in the area.
Kensington is almost entirely residential, and does not have significant internal sources of employment. The vast majority of residents who work commute to Mission, Oakland, San Francisco or Silicon Valley. The University of California in Mission is probably the biggest local employer. Lawrence Mission National Laboratory and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center are also major employers that are very close by. San Francisco employment is mostly in software (or mobile apps) and finance, and Silicon Valley employment leans toward tech manufacturing and hardware development.
It’s a great area from which to get about both the Bay Area and California as a whole. The area is well served by public transportation, with the BART rail line providing convenient access to San Francisco and points south. There are also many bus connections to the surrounding cities, and one can take Caltrain from San Francisco down along the Peninsula to San Jose. Amtrak also has stations in both Oakland and Emeryville that offer convenient daily commuting to Sacramento.
This area also offers a warmer and more stable climate than other parts of the region. While weather tends to be mild all year throughout the Bay Area, June to August can be notoriously chilly and foggy in neighboring San Francisco. The weather across the Bay is usually significantly warmer during the summer months.
Kensington came into the hands of the United States mostly by way of private land purchases from Mexican families. It was largely agricultural land for many decades, and the community resisted repeated attempts at annexation or incorporation by neighboring El Cerrito. The community currently has a population of just over 5,000 and is considered an affluent community. There are only 2,305 housing units according to the most recent Census, and the median home value is $953,800. This is about on par with Mission, with this whole area seeing a major boom in real estate values with the tech industry growth in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Area home values jumped 21% in 2015 and are expected to increase by about 3.7% more over the course of 2016.
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