California is still home to several of America’s most expensive locales, though some parts of the New York Metro Area make the list, according to research compiled by overseas property broker

The first two quarters of 2016 saw rather impressive growth in new and existing-home sales across much of the U.S. While so many may recall 90210 as America’s poshest community of Beverly Hills, Property Shark, Forbes, and Zillow all find that America’s most expensive ZIP codes also fall in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York Metro Area (see table below). The first of these sources examines only the median sale prices of homes, the second additionally considers the average number of days on the market, and the third applies its very own home value index (ZHVI), capable of capturing and accounting for the changing composition of properties sold in one time period versus another period. All of these sources use data from slightly different time periods, and Zillow provides the most current data (from June 30, 2016).

Source: Property Shark, Forbes, Zillow

Source: Property Shark, Forbes, Zillow

Here is a breakdown of the top five most expensive ZIP codes in the US, according to the data from Zillow* (including median sale price data from Property Shark).

Photos courtesy: Depositphotos

94027, Atherton, CA


Though a small community, Atherton has topped this list due to its location in the Bay Area and its proximity to Menlo Park and Palo Alto. Atherton is located in San Mateo County, California. With a population of approximately 7,000, it is a small, compact town nestled in a bed of a few other small communities in the larger San Francisco Bay Area.

ZHVI: $6,325,900
Median sale price: $5,900,000

While you may expect prices to hover around $6 million, do not be too surprised to find homes demanding up to $22 million or $39.8 million in the centre of the town, which is mostly wedged between Highway CA-82 and Interstate 280. Atherton’s proximity to Menlo Park and Palo Alto makes it an attractive site for incoming computer scientists, programmers, engineers, and businessmen, though the high prices may discourage students from even renting properties.


90210, Beverly Hills, CA

Ever the home of many of the world’s best-known celebrities, Beverly Hills still has the panache we have all known since the 1950s.

ZHVI: $5,013,400
Median sale price: $3,517,500

This town has stood as America’s real estate icon for decades. The northern section of Beverly Hills is home to some of the country’s most luxurious homes, which are in turn home to some of the nation’s wealthiest denizens, some 35,000 in total. Sunset Boulevard, lined with palm trees and elegant hedge bushes, cuts through the northern section of the city. Rodeo Drive has perhaps the west coast’s most well-known shopping centre. Most of the city’s priciest properties lie along Sunset Blvd. or just north of it; the numbers range from $12 million to $26.9 million and beyond. Properties in the southern half of the city (that is, to the southeast of Highway CA-2) more often stand at $1 million to $2 million. The city’s middle, nestled between Sunset Blvd. and CA-2, balances out the two disparate parts of the city, with prices spanning from $6.36 million to $12 million.

94022, Los Altos, CA

Los Altos is ideal for both commuters of the Bay Area and trailblazers who enjoy untouched state parks.

ZHVI: $3,403,900
Median sale price: $2,756,500

Sitting near the southernmost part of San Francisco Bay, Los Altos is a rather ideal place for anyone traveling between San Jose and San Francisco. Its location on the edge of a number of state parks makes the community attractive to nature lovers and anyone looking for respite from the commotion of nearby urban centres. Interstate 280 runs along the western perimeter and through the southern half of the city, allowing for swifter commutes within the Bay Area and trips beyond it. Around 30,000 people reside in Los Altos, making it a rather dense community; thus, home prices span $1 million to $7.39 million. Proximity to the Interstate, however, seems to have little or no impact on price.

90402, Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica is the United States’ most expensive beachfront community in Home to approximately 92,000 residents, Santa Monica’s 90402 zone is both the most populous zip code and the only beachfront community to make the list. The city lies in the western part of the Los Angeles Metro Area, and its layout follows a grid pattern. Interstate 10 bisects it, forming a major artery to deliver beachgoers to one of LA’s most popular seaside spots.

ZHVI: $3,391,800
Median sale price: $3,000,000

Though you may expect that the beachfront properties would command the highest prices, most of Santa Monica’s priciest places are dispersed throughout the community. Proximity to Interstate 10 also does not seem to make much of a difference for property prices. Some seaside homes list prices short of $1 million, though several inland properties cost up to $5 million $6 million.

94301, Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto, arguably the world’s prime destination for aspiring computer scientists, constitutes a comfortable locale and well-educated community.

ZHVI: $3,347,900
Median sale price: $3,150,000

Often hailed as the symbol of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto has become the home (or at least starting point) of many of the world’s leading tech and IT firms; it is also the destination of enthusiastic computer scientists and engineers striving to begin startups and think up the next big idea. Stanford University lies just to the southwest of the city, and the Googleplex – Google’s HQ – rests near the side of the bay to the east. The current, estimated population of Palo Alto stands around 67,000, making it the second largest community to make the list. Because of Stanford, as well as a network of several other stellar universities in the area, the community has also evolved into one of America’s most educated. While the city limits reveal some strange contours, most of Palo Alto’s residents live in the northern half of the city, the area located between Stanford University and San Francisco Bay. Prices range anywhere from about $700,000 to over $4 million in this area.