Fueled in part by low interest rates and an influx of pandemic relief funds, demand for housing surged in the United States over the last two years. Inventory could not keep pace, as new construction was hobbled by rising commodity prices and supply constraints. As a result, home values rose at an unprecedented rate.
Soaring by over 36% since mid-2020, the median home sale price in the United States now stands at an all-time high of $440,300, well beyond the means of a typical working American. Even before the pandemic hit the U.S. housing market, there were dozens of cities where most homes were prohibitively expensive for the majority of Americans.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities with the most expensive housing markets. Cities are ranked by their median home value, and in the case of a tie, the city where the larger share of homes are worth at least $2 million ranks higher.
Among the cities on this list, median home values range from about $930,000 to over $2 million – the maximum value tracked by the ACS. In fact, in a dozen of these cities, over one-third of all homes are worth at least $2 million. The vast majority of these places are located in California, though there are also a handful in Northeastern and Southern states.
While these places may not be affordable for most people, those who do live there tend to be relatively well-off financially. In each of the cities on this list, the median household income exceeds the national median of $64,994 – and in all but six of these cities, the typical household earns over $100,000 a year. (Here is a look at the richest town in every state).
Despite higher incomes, homeowners in most of these places are more likely to still be paying down a mortgage than the typical American homeowner. In all but four cities on this list, the share of homeowners paying a mortgage exceeds the 62.1% share nationwide. (Here is a look at the counties with the most foreclosures so far this year).
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