America's Priciest ZIP Codes

October 17, 2013

Silicon Valley is a hotbed for the priciest homes in the country, according to Forbes’ 2013 list of America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes, which analyzed more than 22,000  ZIP codes across the country. Silicon Valley had several ZIP codes emerge at the top of this year’s list, which Forbes attributes to a tech boom that has created a new wave of millionaires and billionaires who are purchasing homes in all-cash deals.

A recent article in The Atlantic Cities poses another explanation for San Francisco’s rising home prices—the city’s new-home construction has been severely constrained “to protect the ‘character’” of the area. The article says that San Francisco’s interest in preserving the historical aspects of the city has sparked a rise in housing prices, while the demand for housing increases faster than supply.

“Over the past two decades, San Francisco has produced an average of 1,500 new housing units per year,” according to the article. “Compare this with Seattle, which has produced about 3,000 units per year over the same time period (and remember it's starting from a smaller overall population base). While Seattle decided to embrace infill development as a way to save open space at the edge of its region and put more people in neighborhoods where they could walk, San Francisco decided to push regional population growth somewhere else.”

The following are the top 11 most expensive ZIP codes, according to the Forbes analysis:

  1. Atherton, Calif.: 94027

    • Median home price: $6,665,231
  2. Los Altos Hills, Calif.: 94022

    • Median home price: $5,404,692
  3. New York, N.Y.: 10065

    • Median home price: $4,860,494
  4. Belvedere, Calif.: 94920

    • Median home price: $4,807,885
  5. Sagaponack, N.Y.: 11962

    • Median home price: $4,790,769
  6. New York, N.Y.: 10014

    • Median home price: $4,628,782
  7. New York, N.Y.: 10013

    • Median home price: $4,619,761
  8. Alpine, N.J.: 07620

    • Median home price: $4,481,964
  9. Portola Valley, Calif.: 94028

    • Median home price: $4,339,923
  10. New York, N.Y.: 10012

    • Median home price: $4,212,447
  11. Aspen, Colo.: 81611

    • Median home price: $4,205,675

Source: “America's Most Expensive Zip Codes In 2013: The Complete List,” Forbes (Oct. 16, 2013) and “The San Francisco Exodus,” The Atlantic Cities (Oct. 14, 2013)

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