Suburbs became popular in the United States after World War II, when returning veterans, offered low-interest loans and favorable pricing, looked outside the big cities to escape the pollution, crime, and space limitations of urban life.
Today, suburbs have apparently lost some of their appeal. Since 2000, young college-educated professionals have been moving to urban areas more often than to suburbs, reversing a trend that held for much of the second half of the 20th century.
While suburban living may not be as popular as it once was, low-density areas outside major metro areas still have some of the priciest real estate in the country.
To determine the 20 most expensive suburbs for home buyers, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data compiled by StorageCafé, an online platform for storage rental listings. The site identified the top 100 suburbs for premier living according to numerous criteria, including population density, employment opportunities, number of retail stores and restaurants, park and recreation area, and crime rate. (It defines suburbs as municipalities with between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants located near the 100 largest metro areas for which data was available.) It then consulted the Zillow home value index to determine average home values in each suburb and its nearest principal city. (If you don’t like things too quiet, these are the best suburbs for city-like living.)
Note that home value is not the same as home price. Value is the result of an appraisal of what a home is worth, while price is a measure of what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Nonetheless, value is considered a good way to estimate future prices.
California dominates our list of the 20 most expensive suburbs with 15 entries. Areas like Palo Alto (the heart of Silicon Valley) and Laguna Beach and Calabasas in the Greater Los Angeles area have justified reputations for extreme wealth, so it’s hardly surprising that housing costs are high. California isn’t the only state with a pricey housing market, though, and high real estate costs may be seen around the country. (These are the most overpriced housing markets in America.)
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