A new analysis of the 100 most expensive zip codes in the United States suggests the national real estate market is shaking off pandemic-fueled sluggishness. According to the report by real estate data provider PropertyShark, the top 10 priciest zip codes all surpassed $4 million for the first time ever. And the top 30 all had median home sale prices over $3 million—that’s double the number from 2020.
“Even as another uniquely challenging year—marked by the efforts of tackling the pandemic and boosting the economy—is coming to an end, the U.S. residential market continues to experience vertical price trends,” the report read.
Topping the list for the fifth year in a row is 94027 in Atherton, California, with a median sale price of $7,475,000. The wealthy San Mateo County enclave, which boasts an average household income of more than $525,000, has been home to billionaires like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Not surprising since it’s only about a 20 minute drive from their Silicon Valley offices and less than an hour from San Francisco. But with limited stock, homes in the zip code sell like hotcakes.
“The billionaire favorite also saw its median rise 7% year over year,” according to the report, “suggesting that this exclusive enclave may continue to retain its leading position in the future.” The prestige of topping the list has made owning a home in Atherton even more desirable, realtors say, driving prices even higher. In 2019, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry bought an 10,290-square-foot estate in Atherton for $31 million.
Today, a 3,700-square-foot home is currently listed for $100 million. If it hits that target, the palatial estate, which has served as a summer home for Gap founders Don and Doris Fisher for decades, will be the most expensive sale in the country’s most expensive zip code. (The Fishers bought the property for just over $211,000 in 1975, six years after opening the first Gap location in San Francisco, and added on to it over the years.)
California was home to 70% of the country’s most expensive zip codes, with 21 in Los Angeles County alone. Nationwide, 92 zip codes on the list saw price gains, including 23 where the median spiked by more than 25%. The sharpest surge was claimed by 21056 on Maryland’s Gibson Island, which nearly doubled its median sale price year over year to hit $3,195,000.
In a historic first, though, New York City didn’t crack the top 20 most expensive zip codes. The first NYC entry, at number 22, was 10013 in Tribeca, with a median of $3.21 million. (The Big Apple slipped from the top 10 for the first time in the 2020 rankings.)
New York also saw the steepest median price drop, with 10069 on the Upper West Side plummeting from number 22 in 2020 to number 93 this year, thanks to median sales dropping 39% to $1,663,000. The report analyzed median prices for residential sales closed between January 1 and October 22, 2021, and it included 127 zip codes in total due to multiple ties.