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America's Most Expensive Zip Codes
Old 09-07-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
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America's Most Expensive Zip Codes

Here is the Forbes list of the top 500 ZIP codes ranked by median home price. You can click on a location for more info.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Interesting. I grew up in range 300-400, and now live in range 400-500. Wonder if that amounts to a comedown?

On the other hand, I live in a much higher income area (often, twice as much income), relative to home prices, than some of the higher-ranking zips.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
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when you look at numbers like this doesn't it strike as odd when you see median home prices at 40 times the median income (in the case of number one on the list)... and there are others with greater disparity in numbers.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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There's something screwy with that list. I think the data mine had a collapse or something - the median price vs. median income doesn't make sense in a number of places, and some whole zip codes were based on 2 houses.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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My zip code (minimal lot size, often no space at all between buildings, in city) is declared similar to a beach town I know well (large lots, commutable to same city).
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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Haiku barely in the top 200, followed by Haleiwa and Kailua in the 200-300 range and Lahaina in 300-400... yeah, that sounds about right.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:37 PM   #7
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when you look at numbers like this doesn't it strike as odd when you see median home prices at 40 times the median income (in the case of number one on the list)... and there are others with greater disparity in numbers.
In the Silicon Valley home prices are driven by stock options. My DD said that it was really frustrating to be outbid by a secretary at Google.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:52 PM   #8
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In the Silicon Valley home prices are driven by stock options. My DD said that it was really frustrating to be outbid by a secretary at Google.
The statistic that I recall is that at the height of the housing boom only 19% of the current home owners in Silicon Valley could afford the home that they lived in.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:28 AM   #9
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I wouldn't doubt that. My take:

The much of the area was developed from farm land to residential in the 60s. The couples who formed families then stayed put, in part because of the operation of their property tax law. The venture practice of paying employees in stock options really got going in the 80s.

The neighborhoods are still very suburban, not urban. Housing density hasn't increased significantly while employment growth is driving a housing crunch. Long time residents view their homes as an alternative to LTC insurance, as long as they are able they stay put. Many homes are passed to their children (passing on the tax preference) who 'buy the house' by funding their parents care if necessary.

It is not a 'normal' housing market.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:32 AM   #10
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I lived in #482 (94086) briefly in a little one-bedroom apartment. Of course, I had to move 20 miles down Highway 101 in order to afford to buy my first home after that...
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
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Yeah, my area is in the top 100, but as Brat says, SV is a different animal. Median price for a house is $1.3 million, which is down 13%. However median household income is only $138k so how people afford it puzzles me. I think the price has dropped over the last year because as my neighbour who is a real estate agent explained to me, volume of houses selling has increased but they are at the lower end of the market. I have only seen 1 house for sale in my zip code for less than $1 million and that is a short sale. Even a dump in this zip code would go for $1 million plus, the house we live in is a knock down that last sold for $1.1 million in 2004. However, there are a lot of houses in our area for $3m plus that have been sitting on the market for a long time.

Brat is also right about many houses being passed down the line. Our RE neighbour inherited their house from her father who inherited from her grandmother. Her tax base is on $450k whereas their house is easily worth $2m.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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Would that be the same as the "don't-even-consider-moving-here-in-retirement list"?
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
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Would that be the same as the "don't-even-consider-moving-here-in-retirement list"?
We considered it but it just didn't pencil out.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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Would that be the same as the "don't-even-consider-moving-here-in-retirement list"?
It would for me!

I noticed that NO zip codes in Louisiana or Mississippi made the top 500, and only two in Missouri (both in St. Louis).

Another reason for some of the zip codes with multimillion dollar median home values having median incomes below $50K or so, could be that these zip codes may have been ones in which the housing boom hit hardest. Those who bought before the boom didn't pay that much.

Even back in the 1980's, in San Diego we were amused that many of those living in the more expensive neighborhoods had low paying jobs, but had obtained those homes by buying them many years ago.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:09 PM   #15
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Hey, I grew up in #91!
Sure wasn't ritzy for us, back in the 1980s, but oh, but how times have changed.

Funny--the next island over to us was "only" 213. We were always cooler than them, anyway.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:44 PM   #16
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well ... when you look at the list it really isn't very had to figure out why we are in the mess we are in.... is it?
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #17
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well ... when you look at the list it really isn't very had to figure out why we are in the mess we are in.... is it?
I must be slow tonight. What is the answer?

Ha
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:21 AM   #18
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I must be slow tonight. What is the answer?

Ha

California

New York
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #19
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Would that be the same as the "don't-even-consider-moving-here-in-retirement list"?
Exactly. Location is everything. The house we're in would sell now for maybe $260k, but put the same house in Bethesda, MD or Fairfax, VA and it would be well over $3 million. And that's fine, because every time we go near the DC area we are reminded of why we're so happy we moved away from it.

I didn't see any WV zip codes in the list. Wonder why?
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #20
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Yeah Walt, don't worry, except for Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms, the rest of SC didn't make the cut--not even ritzy Kiawah or Seabrook Islands.

It is good to be under the radar, where the neighbors don't mind the POS fleet of aging cars and prop taxes are low!
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