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Normal Heights & Kensington at a Glance
  • Population: 34,118
  • Median price single-family home: $445,000
  • Median price single-family luxury home:
  • Land area in square miles: 3.5
  • Residents per square mile: 9,707
  • Solds: 192 (2008)

  • Points of Interest

    Book Row

    39th Street Park

    Ken Cinema
    Convenience and Charm
    East of Hillcrest, between Highway 163 and Interstate 805, lies Normal Heights. Homes are usually less expensive than in Kensington, to the east, and in Mission Hills and Hillcrest, to the west, and houses are typically smaller and tract bungalow style, built in the years between the two World Wars. Many of these have been charmingly renovated by upscale professionals who appreciate the community's convenient location and have been priced out of the neighboring communities. There are some lovely custom homes in the area that juts above Mission Valley. Many of them were built to replace those destroyed in a huge Normal Heights fire in 1985.

    East of Normal Heights is Kensington, conveniently located—but actually sort of hidden—on one of the southeastern rims overlooking Mission Valley. This is one of San Diego's most sought-after communities. It's also one of the most distinctive, characterized by bright-white stucco and red-tile-roof Spanish-style architecture, lots of large, elegant front lawns, and curvaceous palm-lined lanes, most of which get little traffic. Kensington is a few miles west of San Diego State University (it's a popular residential choice for professors) and just 10 minutes from the stadium and Mission Valley malls and restaurants. Kensington residents who work downtown, like those from Normal Heights, can easily avoid freeways and traverse streets such as Meade Avenue, Adams Avenue, and El Cajon Boulevard to get to work.

    Shopping in Normal Heights and Kensington
    You'll find everything you need on Adams Avenue, which traverses both communities. The street is home to the Adams Avenue Book Row and is also brimming with antique stores. The Adams Avenue Antiques Street Faire is held each summer. The street also hosts an annual Adams Avenue Street Fair, which is billed as Southern California's largest free music festival.
    House Prices
    The median price for a single-family home was $445,000 in 2008. The median price for a single-family luxury home is $1,590,000. Please note that our "House Price Points" are based on the luxury market.
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    Story by Jacqueline Shannon
    Photography by Latara Dragoo


    Print Date: 12/7/2021
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