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Bay Area home to country’s most expensive neighborhood—again

Silicon Valley hamlet takes top spot

A map showing Atherton and surrounding cities. Photo by sevenMaps7

When it comes to holiday season traditions, real estate site Property Shark’s annual assessment of the most expensive ZIP codes in America isn’t the most cheerful.

But it provides an increasingly reliable calendar marker, and a reminder that, even though the San Francisco real estate market has slackened a bit in 2018, that’s no reason to lose perspective on just how stratospheric the cost of a roof is in the Bay Area.

Property Shark tabulates home sales based on “actual closed sale prices, and not asking prices,” calculates a median for each ZIP code in the nation, and ranks the top 100 accordingly. (This year’s list includes 117 entries thanks to a number of ties.)

The median includes all types of home sales, “taking into account condo, co-ops, single- and two-family homes.”

For 2018, 82 of the top 100 ZIPs are in California, up from 77 last year. Property Shark writer Eliza Theiss singles out Silicon Valley as “home to some of the most expensive residential real estate in the country [and] world.”

San Francisco has nine entries on the list, tied with New York City for the most citations; however, New York’s ritziest neighborhood came in No. 4 nationwide while SF’s most unobtainable locales ranked quite a bit lower.

Here’s a survey of the damage:

  • Once again, Atherton’s 94027 ZIP code is the nation’s priciest place to buy. Atherton took the top spot in 2017, up from No. 2 in 2016. This year the Bay Area’s most hoity-toity burgh saw a median sale price of $6.7 million, up from $4.95 million last year. According to the U.S. Census, Atherton has a population of just more than 7,200 people, so its smaller sample size tilts toward big year-over-year spikes and dips.
  • The next priciest Bay Area locale is Palo Alto’s 94301, which landed in sixth place with a median of $3.75 million-plus. Palo Alto ranked seventh in 2017.
Marina District.
Photo by l0da_ralta
  • You have to scroll all the way down to No. 40 to find San Francisco’s first appearance: The 94123 ZIP averaged $2.07 million-plus in 2018. That’s the area covering the Marina and Cow Hollow. In 2017, the city’s most expensive area was the Richmond and Presidio Heights, with $1.9 million.
  • Speaking of which, this time around the city’s second-biggest spenders favored 44th place 94118, which covers the Inner Richmond and Presidio Heights, and shakes out to $1.97 million and some change.
  • The rest of the city’s top five rounds out to 94127 (Saint Francis Wood, Mount Davidson, and Balboa Terrace, among others) in a tie for 54th place at $1.8 million, 94114 (Castro and Noe Valley) in 60th with $1.72 million, and 94121 (Sea Cliff and Outer Richmond) in 75th place with $1.61 million.
  • Alameda County appears on the list three times: Fremont’s 94539 coming in at No. 83 with a $1.52 million median; Oakland’s 94618 (which covers Rockridge) at No. 95, which averaged $1.45 million (tied with nearby Orinda); and Berkeley’s 94705 at No. 98 with $1.44 million.

For the full rankings in all of their gritty glory, check here.