Special Report

Most Expensive Towns to Buy a Home in the Nation

sansara / iStock via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an unprecedented surge in demand for homes in the United States. Inventory is at a record low, as is the average time homes are on the market. Meanwhile, both home prices and the share of homes selling above asking price have reached record highs. 

Of course, in some parts of the country, exorbitant home prices are nothing new. Even before the pandemic, there were towns across the country where most homes had estimated values of well over a million dollars. Meanwhile, the median home value nationwide is $217,500. 

Using data on median home value from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 most expensive towns to buy a home. Several of the places on this list have a median home value above $2 million, the upper boundary published by the Census. To break those ties, areas with fewer homes and higher incomes ranked higher on this list. We included cities, towns, villages, and unincorporated communities with populations between 1,000 and 25,000 in our analysis. Most of the towns on this list are in the Western United States, including 30 in California alone. 

Home values in a given area are often a reflection of what residents can afford. And not surprisingly, with only one exception, the median annual household income exceeds the $62,843 national median in every town on this list. Here is a look at the richest town in every state

Likely due in part to higher incomes, homeowners in the towns on this list are not necessarily more likely than average to need to rely on a mortgage. In only just over half of the most expensive towns to buy a home, the share of homeowners who are financing with a mortgage is above the 62.7% share of homeowners with a mortgage nationwide. Here is a look at where the middle class can no longer afford housing.

Click here to see the most expensive towns to buy a home in the nation.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

Source: Tomsmith585 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

50. Orinda, California
> Median home value: $1,464,400
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 70.5% — 1,889th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 90.1% — 622nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $223,217 — 37th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: Jerry Dougherty / Wikimedia Commons

49. Darien, Connecticut
> Median home value: $1,471,700
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 73.1% — 1,331st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 86.6% — 997th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $232,523 — 29th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

48. Bunker Hill Village, Texas
> Median home value: $1,490,300
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 53.1% — 2,199th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 96.1% — 108th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $247,188 — 18th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Ansem27 / Wikimedia Commons

47. Highland Park, Texas
> Median home value: $1,508,900
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 48.1% — 1,377th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 83.0% — 1,487th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $211,136 — 56th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Focqus, LLC / Getty Images

46. Paradise Valley, Arizona
> Median home value: $1,516,200
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 55.9% — 2,813th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 93.1% — 335th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $211,393 — 54th highest of 8,486 towns

45. La Cañada Flintridge, California
> Median home value: $1,518,000
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 73.6% — 1,238th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 90.8% — 547th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $175,788 — 119th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: Miranda Osborn-Sutphen / iStock via Getty Images

44. Kiawah Island, South Carolina
> Median home value: $1,532,800
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 46.4% — 1,182nd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 96.8% — 79th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $193,750 — 76th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Sparty1711 / iStock via Getty Images

43. Hermosa Beach, California
> Median home value: $1,542,900
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 73.4% — 1,276th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 47.4% — 726th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $136,702 — 324th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Pgiam / E+ via Getty Images

42. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
> Median home value: $1,550,600
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $3,500 — 226th highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 43.7% — 873rd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 57.0% — 2,035th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $98,188 — 1,153rd highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

41. Old Greenwich, Connecticut
> Median home value: $1,561,200
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 70.4% — 1,915th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 84.1% — 1,319th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $222,794 — 38th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Wikiamsaro / Wikimedia Commons

40. Lloyd Harbor, New York
> Median home value: $1,573,400
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 53.4% — 2,259th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 95.3% — 159th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

[in-text-ad]

39. Muttontown, New York
> Median home value: $1,583,700
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 59.1% — 3,555th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 94.3% — 238th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $212,950 — 52nd highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Demetri2K / iStock via Getty Images

38. Sea Girt, New Jersey
> Median home value: $1,585,400
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $3,938 — 139th highest of 8,484 towns
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 55.8% — 2,789th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 98.6% — 17th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $146,023 — 261st highest of 8,486 towns

Source: pastuslm / iStock via Getty Images

37. Mill Valley, California
> Median home value: $1,598,700
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 66.8% — 2,881st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 70.2% — 3,662nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $163,614 — 158th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: xpoint / iStock via Getty Images

36. Coronado, California
> Median home value: $1,617,000
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 63.1% — 3,893rd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 52.9% — 1,351st lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $108,967 — 806th highest of 8,486 towns

35. Strawberry (Marin County), California
> Median home value: $1,633,700
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 74.5% — 1,090th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 46.8% — 675th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $107,063 — 869th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: sansara / iStock via Getty Images

34. Alamo, California
> Median home value: $1,670,500
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 73.1% — 1,331st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 92.8% — 366th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $239,545 — 24th highest of 8,486 towns

33. Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
> Median home value: $1,727,100
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 68.0% — 2,545th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 94.9% — 189th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

Source: Tomfullen / Wikimedia Commons

32. Hunters Creek Village, Texas
> Median home value: $1,744,500
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 56.3% — 2,892nd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 99.2% — 7th highest of 8,488 towns
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: County of San Mateo Parks Department

31. Highlands-Baywood Park, California
> Median home value: $1,763,800
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $3,978 — 132nd highest of 8,484 towns
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 69.5% — 2,122nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 87.3% — 919th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $195,833 — 74th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: TraceRouda / iStock via Getty Images

30. Laguna Beach, California
> Median home value: $1,771,600
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 65.2% — 3,307th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 64.3% — 3,570th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $129,983 — 408th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: digidreamgrafix / iStock via Getty Images

29. Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
> Median home value: $1,773,100
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 60.8% — 3,964th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 82.7% — 1,519th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $136,528 — 327th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ M.D. / Wikimedia Commons

28. Saddle River, New Jersey
> Median home value: $1,779,500
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 64.5% — 3,490th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 86.3% — 1,037th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $213,958 — 51st highest of 8,486 towns

Source: jfbenning / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

27. Spring Lake, New Jersey
> Median home value: $1,818,500
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $3,645 — 194th highest of 8,484 towns
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 36.2% — 364th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 78.9% — 2,068th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $86,200 — 1,701st highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Kirkikis / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

26. Old Westbury, New York
> Median home value: $1,856,900
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 54.4% — 2,471st lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 94.1% — 254th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $220,048 — 40th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: WhisperToMe / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

25. Piney Point Village, Texas
> Median home value: $1,912,000
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 45.3% — 1,046th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 99.0% — 9th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

[in-text-ad]

Source: SpVVK / Getty Images

24. Emerald Lake Hills, California
> Median home value: $1,989,200
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 72.3% — 1,491st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 90.4% — 588th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $229,167 — 32nd highest of 8,486 towns

Source: bensonkua / Flickr

23. Kentfield, California
> Median home value: $1,997,100
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 74.0% — 1,169th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 80.9% — 1,780th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $214,081 — 49th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Focqus, LLC / Getty Images

22. Palos Verdes Estates, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 64.4% — 3,517th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 86.2% — 1,045th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $194,543 — 75th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: JasonDoiy / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

21. Stanford, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 65.6% — 3,203rd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 26.1% — 44th lowest of 8,488 towns
> Median household income: $58,906 — 4,017th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Art Wager / E+ via Getty Images

20. Del Mar, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 50.2% — 1,675th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 52.9% — 1,351st lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $129,063 — 422nd highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: Thomas De Wever / iStock via Getty Images

19. Rancho Santa Fe, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 66.8% — 2,881st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 79.8% — 1,942nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $137,083 — 320th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: By LINYperson615 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=106687466

18. Kings Point, New York
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 53.5% — 2,283rd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 98.3% — 28th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $145,476 — 266th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: bennymarty / iStock via Getty Images

17. Malibu, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 66.5% — 2,953rd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 77.6% — 2,302nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $150,747 — 227th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

16. Tiburon, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 73.2% — 1,313th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 67.1% — 4,182nd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $154,915 — 200th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: davidwoodberry / Getty Images

15. Montecito, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 49.5% — 1,572nd lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 72.5% — 3,212th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $159,706 — 175th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: RussieseO / iStock via Getty Images

14. San Marino, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 63.8% — 3,692nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 86.1% — 1,054th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $166,607 — 148th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: By Atomic Taco from Seattle, WA, USA - Medina, Downtown Bellevue, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76083725 / Wikimedia Commons

13. Medina, Washington
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 59.4% — 3,635th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 86.4% — 1,019th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $212,337 — 53rd highest of 8,486 towns

Source: Jennifer_Sharp / iStock via Getty Images

12. West Menlo Park, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 75.9% — 882nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 78.5% — 2,135th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $214,167 — 48th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

11. Portola Valley, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 60.2% — 3,811th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 77.4% — 2,329th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $224,554 — 36th highest of 8,486 towns

10. Piedmont, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 65.2% — 3,307th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 87.9% — 853rd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $224,659 — 34th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad]

Source: kdavidclark / Flickr

9. Clyde Hill, Washington
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 60.2% — 3,811th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 89.2% — 708th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $238,958 — 25th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brostad/

8. Belvedere, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 65.4% — 3,260th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 76.3% — 2,512th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $245,208 — 20th highest of 8,486 towns

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/agatheb/

7. Loyola, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 67.9% — 2,575th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 91.7% — 465th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $246,563 — 19th highest of 8,486 towns

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Sanfranman59 / Wikimedia Commons

6. Hillsborough, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 64.7% — 3,433rd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 93.3% — 314th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

Source: Andrei Stanescu / Getty Images

5. Los Altos Hills, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 56.0% — 2,830th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 91.5% — 482nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

[in-text-ad]

Source: mjmonty / Flickr

4. Atherton, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 54.5% — 2,489th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 93.2% — 322nd highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

Source: jeremyborkat / iStock via Getty Images

3. Woodside, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 60.9% — 3,997th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 89.8% — 651st highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

Source: LPS.1 / Wikipedia

2. Monte Sereno, California
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 71.8% — 1,605th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 93.5% — 296th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: stefko / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

1. Sands Point, New York
> Median home value: $2,000,000+
> Median monthly housing costs with a mortgage: $4000+ — 1st highest of 8,484 towns (tied)
> Share of housing units with a mortgage: 53.3% — 2,244th lowest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Homeownership rate: 94.5% — 214th highest of 8,488 towns (tied)
> Median household income: $250,000+ — 1st highest of 8,486 towns (tied)

Methodology

To determine the most expensive towns to buy a home in the nation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median owner-occupied home values from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

We used census “place” geographies — a category that includes 29,573 incorporated legal entities and census-designated statistical entities. Of those, 29,320 had boundaries that fell within one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

We defined towns based on population thresholds — having at least 1,000 people and less than 25,000 people — and 13,332 of the places fell within these thresholds.

Towns were excluded if owner-occupied median home values were not available in the 2019 ACS, if there were fewer than 1,000 housing units, or if the sampling error associated with a town’s data was deemed too high.

The sampling error was defined as too high if the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of how reliable an estimate is — for a town’s owner-occupied median home value was above 15% and greater than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all towns’ owner-occupied median home values. We similarly excluded towns that had a sampling error too high for their population, using the same definition.

The remaining 8,488 places were ranked based on their owner-occupied median home values. To break ties, we used median monthly housing costs with a mortgage.

In a few cases, median home values were above the boundary for which the U.S. Census publishes precise estimates and instead publishes the boundary ($2,000,000+). To break ties for these areas, we used two additional proxies: median household income as areas with higher incomes are correlated with higher home values, and total housing units as a lower number of housing units implies a smaller supply of homes available if a purchaser wished to live in a given town.

Additional information on median monthly housing costs with a mortgage, the share of owner-occupied housing units that have a mortgage, rates of homeownership, and median household income are also five-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.