Published On: Tue, Feb 25th, 2020

The Most Expensive U.S. Zip Codes in 2019

Every area has a zip code, but not all are created equal. For example, when it comes to fame, status and real estate, it’s enough to say that you bought a place in the 90210 and just about everyone understands that you live in a luxurious area with hefty price tags. 

Recently, PropertyShark released its annual study of the 100 priciest U.S. zip codes, and this year revealed surprising newcomers and drop-outs, besides the usual suspects. Of course, California and New York with zip codes in areas like Beverly Hills and Billionaires Row – are still topping the list. Additionally, due to ties in median sale price, 125 zip codes actually made the cut. This swanky story is in the numbers, so let’s dive in and talk big money. 

Crème-de-la-Crème to Bottom of the Barrel: It’s All in the Millions

In the race for #1, Silicon Valley’s Atherton, CA – the home of tech moguls – had the most expensive zip code (94027) in the country for the third year in a row. But, with a $7.1 million median sales price, Atherton isn’t just topping the list: it’s putting all other zip codes to shame. 

However, this uber-wealthy town is an outlier. All of the other prices on the list ranged between $1.4 million and $4.3 million. At the other end of the spectrum, Gibson Island’s 21056 zip code on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland came in last, with a $1.4 million median sales price. 

California Dreamin’ in 91 of 125 High-Priced Zips 

Due to rapid price surges in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, California led the way with a staggering 91 of the most expensive U.S. zip codes. In nearly half of metro LA, the housing market median rose about 20% in five years, and in one-third of the Bay Area, it went up by 40% or more, which catapulted the Golden State to first place. 

photo/ mohamed Hassan

Sunny LA, Blinding Prices

Los Angeles is the most expensive U.S. county with 21 of the 125 most expensive zip codes, including two of the top ten priciest in the nation. Reflecting the city’s urban sprawl, the zips are scattered all over the map. Eight of the 21 are in beach towns including, among others, the legendary Santa Monica – the 3rd-most expensive zip code (90402) nationally at $4.2 million. Other pockets of wealth were also high on the list, with Beverly Hills boasting three zip codes: the 4th– (90210), 39th– (90212) and 42nd– (90211) most expensive in the nation. A few affluent San Fernando Valley and Westside towns – like Encino and Culver City, among others – also helped boost Los Angeles County to the most expensive in the nation. 

The actual City of Los Angeles contributed five zip codes, of which 90049 – with its star-studded Brentwood and spectacular Getty Center – was the most expensive ($2.1 million median sale price). The sky-scraper-crowned downtown Financial District (90077) was the 2nd-most expensive city zip code with a $1.8 million median sale price. 

The Bay Area: Tech & Price Giants

While LA was the most expensive county, the Bay Area was the most expensive metropolitan area. Its 55 zip codes featured clusters of extremely high prices (more than $2 million) in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, and Contra Costa counties. 

Predictably, Silicon Valley held its own, with Santa Clara County’s famous Palo Alto (94301 at #7) followed closely by Los Altos (94022 at #9); both zips have homes with median price tags above $3.4 million. 

The actual City of San Francisco has 13 of the 125 priciest zip codes, outnumbering any other city. The exclusive Marina and Cow Hollow’s 94123, overlooking the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, topped the list with a $2 million median sales price. Close behind, at $2 million and $1.9 million, respectively, are the metro area’s 94118 and the Castro neighborhood’s 94114 zip codes. 

Second Runner-Up New York: What Real Estate Dreams Are Made Of

No most expensive anything list ever excludes New York. With ritzy 5th Avenue and the exclusive Hamptons, this state packs big money in tight places. After California, New York state had the second-largest number of pricey zip codes (18), with median home prices between $1.5 million and $4.3 million. 

Featuring the nation’s second-most expensive zip code (11962) with a $4.3 million median sales price, Sagaponack is in the elite Hamptons, where the homes of wealthy financiers and celebrities line the beaches. Back in the urban jungle, Manhattan’s 10007 zip code, with trendy TriBeCa, is the most expensive in the city and the 5th-most expensive in the country with a $3.9 million median sales price. 

Ever dynamic, New York City saw significant changes in 2019. The desirable Soho, Greenwich Village and Nolita 10012 zip code slid from 26th place in 2018 to 69th place in 2019 – a 31% fall in median sale price. In contrast, new developments at Hudson Yards caused zip code 10001 to shoot from 92nd place in 2018 to 24th place in 2019. And, for the first time ever, a Brooklyn zip code made the list; tying for 95th place, Red Hook and Carroll Gardens’ 11231 zip had a $1.5 million median sales price.

Coast to Coast Changes

New England struggled in 2019, featuring only seven zip codes versus the 10 that were ranked in 2018. In particular, Massachusetts had only three zip codes on the 2019 list as opposed to six in 2018, with the priciest being Boston’s historical 02199 with a $3.7 million median sales price, while picturesque Nantucket’s 02554 zip dropped off the list entirely. On a more positive note, New Hampshire, absent in 2018, made the list in 2019 with a $1.9 million median sale price in Rye Beach’s 03871 zip code. 

On the sunnier side of the East Coast, Florida contributed only one to the list: Miami-Dade’s 33109, which plunged from 10th place in 2018 to 30th place in 2019 with its $2.4 million median sales price.

In the Southwest, Arizona made the list for the first time with Paradise Valley’s 85253 zip code, which ranked #93 nationally for its $1.5 million median sales price. Nevada, which logged one zip code in 2018, registered two zips in 2019: Lake Tahoe enclaves Glenbrook (89413) and newcomer Crystal Bay (89402), had median sale prices of $1.8 million and $1.7 million, respectively. 

Author: Andreea Popescu

Andreea Popescu is a copywriter with ten years of legal experience, including real estate and marketing. She is an ABA-certified paralegal and has an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from California State University, Northridge. She worked as a legal manager at a marketing firm and as a legal writer. Currently, Andreea brings her combined knowledge of the fields to report on real estate developments for PropertyShark. Reach her at [email protected].

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