The Bay Area is absolutely dominating a list of the nation's most expensive housing, taking 8 of the top 10 spots on the new Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report. The report ranks nearly 2,000 markets across the country based on the average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house—the type of housing that is reserved for millionaires in the Bay Area but is totally normal in other parts of the country. Los Altos topped the list with an average listing price of $1.963 million, a sum that would buy 30 homes in Cleveland, the nation's most affordable market. Prices in Los Altos are also six times the national average of $295,317. Los Altos is, of course, known for places like the $27 million Morgan Estate. Although its seven bedrooms put it outside the scope of this study, it is worth noting that the money needed to buy the estate could purchase about 415 average Cleveland homes.
Los Altos was followed closely by a whole heap of Bay Area cities. Although Southern California's Newport Beach took out the second spot, Saratoga came in third, Redwood City/Woodside was fourth, Los Gatos was fifth, and San Francisco itself came in sixth with an average listing price of $1.294 million for a four-bedroom home (that's just over four times the national average). Sunnyvale, Moraga, and San Mateo took the seventh, eight, and ninth spots, all with prices above $1 million.
A video produced by Coldwell Banker to accompany the report takes a humorous (and frightening) look at what the money needed for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Los Altos could buy in other markets. In Madison, Wisconsin, you could buy five homes and send 10 students to the University of Wisconsin for four years each. In Charleston, South Carolina, you could buy four beach houses and add in a parasailing trip every day for 23 years. Or, in Scottsdale, Arizona, you could get two homes and throw in a round of golf every day for 12 years.
Of course, Los Altos has it all, the video reminds us, from perfect weather to close access to Silicon Valley and the culture of San Francisco. But is it really worth it?
· Home Listing Report 2014 [Coldwell Banker]
· Morgan Estate in Los Altos Hills Back on the Market for $27M [Curbed SF]