The Most Expensive Real Estate Market in America

If real estate data are to be believed, the housing market has recovered so rapidly and so robustly that some markets have regained the record levels of 2005 and 2006. This implies another real estate bubble has formed, at least in those areas.

There are small areas that harbor the most expensive homes and likely have held that status for a very long time. They have been at the center of some of America’s richest ZIP codes based on income and are places the top 1% have lived for long periods. They are also places, in many cases, where America’s richest companies are located. If the recession hurt these areas, they at least remained rich compared to the rest of the nation.

According to real estate firm Coldwell Banker’s Luxury Market Index, at the peak of the pyramid of its top 20 list sits Woodside, Calif.

According to the firm:

“The LMI (Luxury Market Index) includes a number of measurements — such as annualized sales in units, volume, average and median sale price and others — which are then calculated and weighted into the index results,” explains Patrick Veling, president of real Data Strategies, Inc., the firm that collaborated with Coldwell Banker to create the index. “these variables drive the resulting LMI numerical value. the LMI values are then used to rank markets against one another, to give consumers and the real estate industry an objective understanding of how u.S. luxury markets compare to one another.”

Woodside sits between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Half of the top 20 markets are in California. These include Portola Valley, Hillsborough, Thousand Oaks, Arcadia, Atherton, Dana Point, Newport Coast, Los Altos Hills and Pacific Palisades. Several of these also sit near Silicon Valley and are nearly adjacent to one another.

Two cities are in the richest areas around Miami — Palm Beach and Hobe Sound. Palm Beach continues to be an area where many of the wealthy from the northern half of the U.S. winter.

Hawaii has two towns on the list — Wailea and Kailua-Kona. Although the real estate market around Las Vegas was crushed during the real estate downturn, it has two towns as well — Incline Village and Glenbrook.

As should be expected, the richest neighborhood in New York City makes the list, as does the city’s richest suburb — Southport, Conn.

San Francisco is also among the five cities most confident about the U.S. economy. The U.S. economic expansion is expected to quicken through the rest of this year.