Whether you’re relocating within the city or moving to San Diego, choosing among the city’s 130+ neighborhoods is definitely a challenge. It may help to first consider your priorities, whether it’s a great school district, nearby amenities, your commute to work, or low crime.
A good place to start is looking at the most affluent areas where you will find excellent amenities, quiet residential streets, and top-rated schools. Where are the richest neighborhoods in San Diego? This guide will go over the 10 wealthiest communities based on median household income.
Of course, it helps to have some perspective, especially if you aren’t already a San Diegan. How do the wealthiest neighborhoods in San Diego compare to the city as a whole? The San Diego median household income is $68,100. Households earning $136,900 are in the 80th percentile. This means 20% of households in the city have a higher income and the rest are at or below that income level. You can compare these numbers to each of the wealthiest San Diego neighborhoods below.
Carmel Valley – San Diego’s Richest Neighborhood and Part of the Suburban North County Region
- Carmel Valley population: 44,100
- Carmel Valley zip code: 92130
- Carmel Valley median household income: $145,100
- Carmel Valley median home price: $1.35 million
- Guide to living in Carmel Valley, San Diego
Carmel Valley is a large master-planned community in the northwest area of San Diego near La Jolla and Del Mar. Neighboring communities of Pacific Heights Ranch, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, and Del Mar Mesa are often considered part of San Diego’s Carmel Valley, an affluent North County community in the 92130 zip code.
Carmel Valley is the richest San Diego neighborhood with a median household income of $145,000 – but it’s made up of several smaller communities or subdivisions, some of which have a much higher median income. In the Carmel Canyon area of the neighborhood, the median household income is $179,000! The top 5% of households in the neighborhood earn more than $619k per year. Households earning $225k are in the 80th percentile.
Carmel Valley isn’t just one of the richest areas in San Diego; it’s also one of the safest with violent crime 78% below the national average. It’s home to some of the best schools in San Diego including Canyon Crest Academy, California’s second-best high school!
Carmel Valley offers convenient shopping including the new One Paseo, a mixed-use development with luxury apartments, office space, restaurants, and shops. There are also several golf courses and equestrian centers such as the Grand Del Mar Golf Course.
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Miramar Ranch North – Affluent Country Living on Miramar Reservoir
- Miramar Ranch North population: 14,600
- Miramar Ranch North zip code: 92131
- Miramar Ranch North median household income: $129,100
- Miramar Ranch North median home price: $987,500
Miramar Ranch North is located north of Miramar Reservoir next to Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, and Mira Mesa about 18 miles north of downtown San Diego. While part of Scripps Ranch, Miramar Ranch North is usually considered a separate neighborhood.
Miramar Ranch North is one of the richest neighborhoods in San Diego. Households earning $218k are in the 80th percentile while the top 5% earn $494k.
Known for its hiking trails and beautiful eucalyptus trees, it’s one of the best places to live for families with scenic parks and excellent community facilities. Residents enjoy boating, kayaking, and fishing at Lake Miramar.
Rancho Peñasquitos – Upscale San Diego Neighborhood with Tons of Natural Beauty & Hiking
- Rancho Peñasquitos population: 50,000
- Rancho Peñasquitos zip code: 92129
- Rancho Peñasquitos median household income: $118,200
- Rancho Peñasquitos median home price: $992,000
Located north of Carmel Valley and Scripps Ranch is the gorgeous community of Rancho Peñasquitos, an historic neighborhood home to San Diego’s oldest residence, an adobe home dating to the early 19th century. Households making $190k are in the 80th percentile. Rancho Peñasquitos isn’t just one of the wealthiest San Diego neighborhoods; it’s also one of the largest and includes Black Mountain Regional Park.
The neighborhood is known for its excellent hiking and natural beauty with canyons, hillsides, Black Mountain, and Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve on the edge of the neighborhood. One-third of the neighborhood is designated for open space and parks! Families enjoy excellent community amenities like Canyonside Community Park with playgrounds and game fields. It’s also served by the Poway Unified School District, one of the best in San Diego.
The drawback to living in Rancho Peñasquitos? It’s overwhelmingly residential with just 2% of the land zoned for commercial use, but there are plenty of job opportunities in nearby Poway.
La Jolla – Laid-Back Beach Community & One of San Diego’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods
- La Jolla population: 37,100
- La Jolla zip code: 92037
- La Jolla median household income: $116,900
- La Jolla median home price: $1.5 million
- Guide to living in La Jolla, San Diego
Surprisingly, the three richest San Diego neighborhoods are all suburban communities in North County, not the shore. That is, until you get to La Jolla. While La Jolla only ranks third in terms of median household income, it’s usually the most expensive neighborhood in San Diego. In 2021, a beachfront mansion in La Jolla sold for $24.7 million – the third-highest sales price ever in the county!
The top 5% of households in La Jolla also beat out every other neighborhood on this list, earning a mean $813k! The Torrey Pines area of La Jolla is even more affluent. It’s actually one of the richest neighborhoods to live in San Diego with median household income of $248k and 55% of households earning at least $200k!
La Jolla is known for more than expensive real estate. The Jewel City is the place to be for luxury shopping, beach living, and Torrey Pines Golf Course, a world-renowned course on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find excellent schools, including many private schools and the University of California San Diego, recently ranked the 8th best public university in America. Of course, the real star is La Jolla’s shoreline.
La Jolla has arguably the best beaches in San Diego County with the busy La Jolla Shores, the La Jolla Tide Pools, and the iconic La Jolla Cove deep water bay. Enjoy surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, shell hunting, swimming, tidepooling, and sunbathing along San Diego’s most beautiful stretch of shore.
Sabre Springs – Wealthy San Diego Neighborhood in North County with Job Opportunities
- Sabre Springs population: 11,300
- Sabre Springs zip code: 92128
- Sabre Springs median household income: $115,800
- Sabre Springs median home price: $702,500
Located in northeast San Diego along I-15 and surrounded by Miramar Ranch North, Carmel Mountain Ranch, and the city of Poway is Sabre Springs, one of the top five wealthy neighborhoods in San Diego.
Sabre Springs is popular with families, retirees, and young professionals looking for suburban living and plenty of open space without giving up the amenities of the city. Despite its affluence, it’s one of the most affordable neighborhoods on this list.
Unlike many master-planned communities in the North County, Sabre Springs also offers plenty of career opportunities in the community itself. It’s a short drive to Poway and home to the Poway Business Park, a 900-acre business park with 500 businesses that employ 18,000 people. Major employers include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and GEICO.
Scripps Ranch – Desirable Family-Friendly Master-Planned Community Close to Downtown San Diego
- Scripps Ranch population: 16,600
- Scripps Ranch zip code: 92131
- Scripps Ranch median household income: $115,100
- Scripps Ranch median home price: $811,750
- Guide to living in Scripps Ranch, San Diego
Scripps Ranch is one of the most desirable communities in San Diego thanks to its low crime, natural beauty, excellent amenities, and ideal location. Best known for its eucalyptus trees, great schools, and community parks, Scripps Ranch is only 20 minutes from downtown San Diego for an easy commute, but it offers employment opportunities in the neighborhood too.
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There’s something for everyone in this affluent San Diego neighborhood. Neighborhoods like Scripps Ranch Villages are popular with seniors. The Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA) runs the SCRA 50 Plus committee that helps residents age in place with sponsored activities like Thai Chi, Silver Age Yoga, and transportation. Families and millennials enjoy the community’s dozens of highly rated parks and trails plus recreation on Miramar Reservoir. The Scripps Ranch High School is also one of the best in the San Diego Unified School District.
Carmel Mountain Ranch – Picturesque and Wealthy Neighborhood in San Diego with Shopping, Outdoor Recreation & Employment Opportunities
- Carmel Mountain Ranch population: 11,300
- Carmel Mountain Ranch zip code: 92128
- Carmel Mountain Ranch median household income: $114,200
- Carmel Mountain Ranch median home price: $1 million
Carmel Mountain Ranch, usually known as CMR or Carmel Mountain, is located in the shadow of Black Mountain in San Diego North County next to Poway, Sabre Springs, and Rancho Bernardo.
What makes Carmel Mountain Ranch a great place to live? It’s ideally located near shopping, recreation, and employment opportunities. It has the fifth-largest office space market in San Diego County and it’s part of the I-15 edge city. Residents enjoy a short commute, diverse job opportunities, and shopping at Carmel Mountain Ranch Town Center, Carmel Mountain Plaza, and Price Plaza.
CMR is popular with retirees, young professionals, and families thanks to its outdoor recreation and excellent schools in the Poway Unified School District. Spacious condos and townhomes start in the low $600s while homes are usually priced at $1 million or more.
San Carlos – One of the Wealthiest Areas in San Diego Near Downtown
- San Carlos population: 12,300
- San Carlos zip code: 92119
- San Carlos median household income: $98,200
- San Carlos median home price: $615,000
San Carlos is one of the top rich neighborhoods in San Diego in the eastern part of the city; most affluent San Diego communities are in the north or along the coast. Households in the 80th percentile in San Carlos earn $164k with 44% of households earning at least $100k.
Located next to Mission Trails Regional Park Lake Murray, San Carlos is mostly a residential area with single-family homes and family-friendly amenities like the San Carlos Recreation Center. San Carlos is one of the top neighborhoods for families thanks to its great schools, low crime, and its affordability. It’s one of the most affordable neighborhood on this list with a median home price significantly below average for San Diego!
One of the biggest perks of this community? You’ll feel like you’re in the suburbs, but you’re just 10 minutes from downtown San Diego!
Mira Mesa – Largest Affluent Neighborhood in San Diego with Tons of Amenities & a Close-Knit Environment
- Mira Mesa population: 80,000
- Mira Mesa zip code: 92126
- Mira Mesa median household income: $93,800
- Mira Mesa median home price: $767,500
- Guide to living in Mira Mesa, San Diego
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Bounded by the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, I-15, and I-805, Mira Mesa is known for its suburban feel, close-knit community, and strong economy. It’s also one of the city’s largest communities, an impressive feat considering it’s one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in San Diego.
What makes Mira Mesa a great place to live? Downtown San Diego is about 20 minutes away, but you have everything you could want at your fingertips. The community offers several shopping centers, an aquatic complex, an ice arena, senior centers, and a dozen parks plus regular community events. Families appreciate the quality of its schools including Mira Mesa High School, a Blue Ribbon School and California Distinguished School.
Rancho Bernardo – Luxury San Diego Neighborhood Known for its Golf Courses and Canyon Views
- Rancho Bernardo population: 37,400
- Rancho Bernardo zip code: 92128
- Rancho Bernardo median household income: $91,100
- Rancho Bernardo median home price: $663,500
- Guide to living in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego
Rancho Bernardo is a large master-planned community in San Diego North County covering a sprawling 65 square miles. Rancho Bernardo or RD is known for the private Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, the Rancho Bernardo Inn, a luxury resort, and Bernardo Winery, the region’s oldest winery. This hillside community is 20 minutes outside San Diego and a place where you can live, play, and work. You’ll find everything from office parks and shopping centers to golf courses and beautiful parks, making it ideal for families and young professionals alike.
You’ll find a selection of home styles in RD from single-family homes to luxury condos and 55+ communities.
Map of Richest Neighborhoods in San Diego
The wealthiest areas of San Diego offer a great quality of life, low crime, top-rated schools, and excellent amenities. Depending on which neighborhood you choose, you can even enjoy these benefits without the $1+ million price point, particularly in east San Diego where spacious condos are priced well below average for the city!
Does one of these upscale communities sound like it’s perfect for your family? Once you’ve decided where life is taking you next, count on Republic Moving & Storage for a seamless moving experience.