Los Angeles is an enormous, sprawling city with many diverse neighborhoods.
The east part of the San Fernando Valley is an area known for its family-friendly atmosphere, with a range of neighborhoods that offer a mix of urban and suburban living. Whether you’re someone who is already living locally and renting or you’re someone who is considering relocating to the Los Angeles area, if you are looking to live in the East San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, you may be considering one of the four popular neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village. Each of these neighborhoods has its own unique characteristics, demographics, and real estate market so let’s dig in a little bit deeper.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the four neighborhoods have varying demographics. Studio City has a population of around 38,000 people, with a median age of 40 (including many celebrities) and a median household income of $117,436. 57% of the population is married. Sherman Oaks has a population of around 55,000 people, with a diverse mix of young professionals, families, and retirees. The median age is 38 and median household income is $98,767. 66% of the population is married. Valley Village has a population of around 23,000 people, with a median age of 37 and a median household income of $77,610. 41% of the population is married. Toluca Lake has a population of around 9,000 people, with a median age of 42 and a median household income of $104,946. 56% of the population is married.
Median Home Prices:
As of 2022, the median home price for a single-family residence in the east San Fernando Valley ranges from $1.1 million in Valley Village to $1.8 million in Studio City, according to Redfin.com. Sherman Oaks and Toluca Lake are both priced in between, with median home prices around $1.3 million and $1.6 million, respectively.
Valley Village is the most affordable neighborhood of the four, with a lower median home price compared to the other neighborhoods. However, all four neighborhoods have a higher cost of living compared to other parts of Los Angeles.
When it comes to public transportation, all four neighborhoods have access to the Los Angeles Metro Bus System, which provides bus routes throughout the city. Studio City has the fewest public transportation options, with only one Metro bus line running through the neighborhood. Sherman Oaks has the most public transportation options of the four neighborhoods, as far as several bus lines and the Orange Line, specifically. While Toluca Lake also has good access to public transportation, Valley Village is the most accessible of the neighborhoods. It has several Metro bus lines and a Metro Rail station nearby.
All four neighborhoods are relatively walkable, with pedestrian-friendly streets. Studio City and parts of Sherman Oaks are more walkable than Valley Village and Toluca Lake, according to WalkScore.com. Studio City’s walk score ranges from about 64 to 71 and the neighborhood has a number of shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance. Sherman Oaks and Valley Village both have walk scores ranging from 58 to 62. Many of the streets in Valley Village lack sidewalks and it’s important to note that parts of both Studio City and Sherman Oaks are hillside neighborhoods with significantly lower walk scores. Toluca Lake has scores mostly in the range of 55 to 59.
Additionally, Studio City and Sherman Oaks both have popular commercial districts with many amenities within walking distance, while Valley Village and Toluca Lake have more residential neighborhoods other than each having a smaller commercial district with Valley Village’s being located on Magnolia Boulevard and Toluca Lake’s being located on Riverside Drive.
Local School Ratings:
When it comes to schools, all four neighborhoods are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second-largest school district in the country. According to GreatSchools.org, the highest-rated schools in the area are located in Studio City, with Carpenter Community Charter School and Walter Reed Middle School both receiving scores of 9 out of 10. Carpenter Community Charter School has consistently ranked as one of the top elementary schools in the state. Studio City also has several highly rated private schools, including Harvard-Westlake School and Campbell Hall.
Sherman Oaks also has several highly-rated public schools, including Dixie Canyon Avenue Elementary School and Robert A. Millikan Middle School, both receiving scores of 9 out of 10.
Valley Village and Toluca Lake have a mix of highly-rated and lower-rated schools, with Riverside Drive Charter Elementary School in Valley Village receiving a score of 9 out of 10 and Toluca Lake Elementary School receiving a score of 8 out of 10, very high marks for its academic programs.
Neighborhood Safety and Crime Statistics:
According to NeighborhoodScout.com, all four neighborhoods have relatively low crime rates compared to other areas in Los Angeles. Sherman Oaks and Studio City are considered safer than 61% and 68% of cities in the U.S., respectively, with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. Valley Village and Toluca Lake are considered safer than 60% and 71% of cities in the U.S., respectively, with similar rates of violent crime and slightly higher rates of property crime. Recent statistics and information from the LAPD may suggest that Studio City and Toluca Lake are the safest of the four neighborhoods, but the differences are minimal.
Each of these neighborhoods has its own unique character, demographics, and real estate market. Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village are all desirable neighborhoods, but the best one for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If walkability and public transportation are important to you, Valley Village or Sherman Oaks may be the best options. If you have children and are looking for good schools, Studio City or Sherman Oaks may be the best fit. If affordability and diversity are important to you, Valley Village may be the best fit. If you're looking for an upscale neighborhood with a celebrity presence, Studio City or Toluca Lake may be the right choice for you. Lastly, if safety is a top priority, Studio City or Toluca Lake may be the clear winner.
Whatever your priorities, there is a neighborhood in the east San Fernando Valley that will meet your needs. Choosing the right neighborhood in the East San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles depends on numerous specific factors. Ultimately, the choice of which neighborhood to live in will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs.
 US Census Bureau - census.gov
2 Redfin – Redfin.com
3 Los Angeles Metro – metro.net
4 School Ratings – Greatschools.org
5 Crime Statistics – neighborhoodscout.com