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The Luxurious Life: These Are the Nation’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes in 2021

Clare Trapasso | realtor.com

Getty Images / Realtor.com

Even a worldwide pandemic, an ensuing recession, and lately inflation couldn’t put a dent in Silicon Valley’s high home prices.

The nation’s most expensive ZIP code is in Silicon Valley’s suburban Atherton, CA, according to a recent report from listings site RealtyHop. The median home list price in the 94027 ZIP code was an eye-popping $8.95 million. That’s up nearly 3.5% from $8.65 million in 2020. Click here to view the report from RealtyHop.

The report is based on an analysis of every home listing in the U.S. this year through Oct. 20, which totals about 2.79 million. ZIP codes were then ranked by their median home list prices.

“There is a ton of money in Silicon Valley, absolutely an amazing amount of money,” says Compass real estate agent Avi Urban, who is based in Palo Alto, CA, near Atherton. “The pandemic was good for Silicon Valley business. It proved the world was totally dependent on technology.”

The Silicon Valley real estate market stalled at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, he explains. But as people got used to remote work and Zoom and the stock market recovered, the housing market began taking back off. Competition for homes along with bidding wars drove prices up even higher.

“Atherton is at the top of the pyramid,” Urban says of the desirability of Silicon Valley towns.

Other towns—including Palo Alto, which had one of the 10 priciest ZIP codes—were also popular with wealthier buyers. However, “the number of people who are looking for a home at that price is very narrow,” Urban adds.

The median list price in the 100 most expensive ZIP codes was a whopping $2,476,250—up about 7.1% from last year.

“Prices are going up because demand is just so strong and the inventory isn’t catching up,” says Shane Lee, a data scientist at RealtyHop who worked on the report. COVID-19 also contributed to the rise as many people left their urban apartments and bought vacation properties or larger abodes in the suburbs.

“People who left the city aren’t leaving forever. But they wanted a big backyard and a bigger home [nearby],” adds Lee.

Seven of the 10 most expensive ZIP codes were in sunny California. All of these places had median list prices over $4 million. To put those prices into perspective, that’s more than 10 times the median home price of $380,000 in September, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data.

After Atherton, the second priciest ZIP code was 33109 in Fisher Island, off of Miami Beach, FL, with a median price tag of $6.4 million, according to RealtyHop. Famous seasonal residents have included the likes of Oprah WinfreyMel Brooks, and Andre Agassi.

It was followed by 11962 in Sagaponack, NY, which is in the Hamptons (aka the seaside playground of the ultrarich); the famed 90210 in Los Angeles; 11976 in Water Mill, NY, also in the Hamptons; 93108 in oceanside Montecito, CA; 90077 in Los Angeles; 94957 in Ross, CA, just north of San Francisco; 92662 in Newport Beach, in coastal Southern California; and 94301 in Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, CA.

The 100 most expensive ZIP codes are in just 11 states, with nearly two-thirds of them located in sunny California. Twenty were in New York, five in New Jersey, three in Connecticut, and two in Florida and Washington state. South Carolina, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Nevada each had one of the nation’s most expensive ZIP codes.