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. And, that picture is clearly visible in our 2021 edition of the 100 most expensive zip codes in the U.S. — which, for the first time ever, includes 127 zip codes due to multiple ties.
Compiled by calculating median home sale prices to ensure an accurate picture of market conditions (as opposed to listing prices that reflect sellers’ wishes), this year’s edition highlights the ever-increasingly competitive residential markets of economically vital urban centers.
Key findings from the study:
• Arizona contributed one zip code to the top 100 priciest zip codes, marking the first time an Arizona zip landed in the upper half of our ranking.
• Up 41% Y-o-Y, 85253 in Paradise Valley landed at #50 in the top priciest zip codes in the U.S., with an impressive median sale price of $2.1M.
• Phoenix’s 85018 is the only zip code in The Valley that made it into the top 10 , at a median sale price of $853K.
• Arizona’s #2 and #3 most expensive zips are represented by 85262 and 85266 in Scottsdale at $1.2M and $970K, respectively.
• 30 of the 100 priciest zips in the US feature medians higher than $3M, more than double the areas in 2020.
• California accounts for 70% of the priciest housing markets, with 37% concentrated in the Bay Area alone.
The Bay Area, Los Angeles County, and New York City yet again have a heavy presence, joined by exclusive pockets of affluence scattered across the country, like Arizona’s Paradise Valley, Washington state’s Medina and Connecticut’s Fairfield County. What’s more, 2021’s competitive residential landscape is further evidenced by the country’s 10 most expensive zip codes — all of which surpassed the $4 million threshold, marking a new record.
For the full ranking of 2021’s 100 most expensive zip codes, scroll to the bottom of the page. For an even more detailed picture, explore last year’s rankings.
California Claims Overwhelming Majority of Expensive Zips Yet Again, Alongside New York & 8 Other States
Unsurprisingly, California continued to provide the bulk of the country’s most expensive zip codes: The Golden State originated 70% of all of the zip codes on this list, including six of the top 10 priciest. And, as usual, New York came in second, providing 17 zip codes in our ranking.
Notably, New York logged three fewer than last year — demonstrating California’s more vertical price trends, as well as the pricing slowdown in NYC’s top markets. In fact, while 2020 marked the first time that no NYC zips ranked among the country’s 10 most expensive, 2021 brought another historic first for the East Coast giant: No NYC zip codes ranked among the 20 priciest in the U.S. this year, with the state represented only by the Hamptons at the top of our ranking.
The East Coast made its presence further known with Massachusetts, home to seven of the top 100 zips in the U.S., up from last year’s four. Not only that, but as sales activity improved in Boston’s Back Bay area, Massachusetts claimed the #2 most expensive zip code in the country with 02199’s $5.5 million median sale price, which was only surpassed by California’s Atherton at more than $7 million.
To the south, Connecticut’s presence also improved compared to previous years: For the first time since 2018, it contributed four zips to the country’s priciest, most of which ranked in the bottom half of our list — similar to the three zips provided by New Jersey. Out west, Nevada and Washington added two zips each, with Washington state claiming #10 with Medina’s ever pricey 98039.
Additionally, Arizona, Florida and Maryland each contributed one zip code. Florida claimed the #5 most expensive zip code with Miami Beach’s 33109 — the highest-ranking for the Sunshine State since 2017. Meanwhile, New Hampshire missed the top 100 this year, having secured a presence during the last two years with Rye Beach.
Maryland Claims Sharpest Price Gain at 97%, While NYC’s Upper West Side Contracts 39%
The U.S. residential market’s vertical price trends were evident among the country’s top zip codes as well, with 92 zips registering price gains — including 23 where the median surged by more than 25%. Conversely, only 12 locations among the priciest registered drops in their medians this year – by comparison, 2020 brought median increases to 78 zips and drops to 23 locations.
At the same time, a record 30 zip codes posted median sale prices of $3 million and above — more than double those in 2020 — with the top 10 most expensive zips coming in at $4 million and higher. Moreover, the last zip code to enter our ranking — San Francisco’s 94122 — did so with a 12% year-over-year (Y-o-Y) increase in its median sale price, managing to hold onto its #100 position from last year.
The sharpest price gain was claimed by 21056 in Maryland’s Gibson Island, which nearly doubled its median sale price, surging 97% Y-o-Y to hit $3,195,000. Gibson Island was followed by 89402 in Nevada’s Crystal Bay, which swelled 68% to reach #39 with a $2.5 million median. The third-sharpest gain was claimed by 33109 in Miami Beach, which rose 66% to a $4,475,00 median sale price to become the #5 most expensive zip code in 2021.
The sharpest price contraction was registered in NYC’s Upper West Side, where zip 10069 contracted 39% Y-o-Y to stabilize at $1,663,000. As a result, the Upper West Side zip dropped from last year’s #22 to #93 this year. Notably, this zip code was actually the leader of price growth in 2020, when its median shot up 42% Y-o-Y.
Across the country, the second-sharpest price drop was registered by 94904 in Greenbrae, Calif., which contracted 12% Y-o-Y. It was followed by Bridgehampton, N.Y.’s 11932, down 11% Y-o-Y. Located in the famously pricey Hamptons, 11932’s price contraction meant that this zip — which was the #7 most expensive in 2020 — came in at #31 this year, its lowest position in three years.
Unshakeable Atherton Maintains #1 Spot for 5th Consecutive Year, Boston Grabs #2 with Record $5.5M Median
A record-setting year for the most expensive zip codes in the U.S., the 10 priciest zip codes in the country now sport median sale prices of $4 million and above. All in all, the 10 most expensive zip codes in the U.S. were provided by five states (as opposed to last year’s three): California claimed six of the top 10 and was joined by Massachusetts, Florida and Washington, as well as New York, which was solely represented by the Hamptons.
Reaching a new record median sale price at $7,475,000, Atherton’s 94027 remains the #1 most expensive zip code in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year — nearly $2 million ahead of the runner-up. Not only that, but the billionaire favorite also saw its median rise 7% Y-o-Y, suggesting that this exclusive enclave may continue to retain its leading position in the future.
Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Boston’s 02199 was conspicuously absent last year due to depressed sales activity during the onset of the pandemic — despite that it historically features one of the highest median sale prices in the U.S. However, the Prudential Center area of Back Bay returned in 2021 with a $5.5 million median sale price — its highest figure yet. Consequently, Boston’s 02199 became the #2 most expensive zip code nationwide, outpacing even ultra-exclusive Hamptons enclaves.
Similarly, another well-established presence among the priciest zip codes in the country, Sagaponack’s 11962 was this year’s #3 most expensive zip code, dropping from the runner-up slot it held for three consecutive years, despite a 29% Y-o-Y price uptick that raised its median sale price from $3,875,000 to $5 million. It was also the only zip from New York state to rank in the top 10, as NYC lost further pricing ground, failing to rank a single zip among even the top 20.
In Ross, Calif., 94957 retained its previous year’s position at #4 with a $4,583,000 median sale price, the result of a 27% Y-o-Y increase. A favorite of Silicon Valley executives and celebrities, this marked the first time that Ross surpassed the $4 million pricing mark.
Conversely, Miami Beach’s 33109 may have ventured into the $4 million and over category back in 2017, but this exclusive Florida enclave reached new pricing heights in 2021: 33109 on exclusive Fisher Island stabilized at $4,475,000 to become the #5 most expensive zip code after a staggering 66% Y-o-Y price jump.
Bay Area Still the Priciest Metro with 47 of the Top U.S. Zip Codes
As has increasingly been the case in recent years, greater Los Angeles, the vast New York metropolitan area and the Bay Area remained the leading metros for pricey zip codes. In particular, the Bay Area was yet again the uncontested leader, contributing 47 zip codes to our list — including three of the top 10 zips — while the greater Los Angeles was represented by 30 Orange and L.A. County zips.
The New York metro was represented by 22 zip codes, with only six of those from NYC proper and the rest located in the Hamptons, Nassau County and Westchester, as well as Connecticut’s Fairfield County and New Jersey’s Bergen and Monmouth counties.
L.A. County Remains Most Expensive, Santa Clara & San Mateo Form Pricey Zip Supercluster
Clearly, not even the tech dollars of Silicon Valley could unseat Los Angeles County, which again was the hottest county in the country for expensive real estate with 21 of the priciest zips in the U.S. Its most expensive zip was Beverly Hills’ famed 90210, a veteran of our yearly rankings and the #6 nationally with a $4,125,000 median sale price.
Not to be outdone, the Bay Area’s Santa Clara and San Mateo counties contributed 15 and 10 zips, respectively, to our ranking as the second- and third-most expensive counties in the U.S. As a result, they form a nearly contiguous supercluster of ultra-expensive zip codes that cover high-profile tech centers such as Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Sunnyvale. And, while San Mateo’s top zip was overall leader 94027 in Atherton, Santa Clara’s highest-ranking zip was 94022 in Los Altos, which landed at #9 with a $4,052,000 median sale price.
A special note goes to Santa Barbara County, which increased its presence from just one zip code in 2020 to five in 2021. Its top zip code was 93108 in Santa Barbara’s exclusive enclave of Montecito — home to the likes of Oprah and former royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — which claimed #7 overall with a $4,103,000 median, following a 40% Y-o-Y pricing jump.
San Francisco, Los Angeles & New York City Hold Highest Concentrations of Exclusive Zips
For the fifth year in a row, San Francisco had the highest concentration of expensive zip codes of any city, ranking seven among the top 10. It was followed by Los Angeles and NYC, with six zips each. However, while San Francisco led the way, most of its zip codes were actually in the bottom half of our ranking: Its priciest zip (94123) placed at #46 — down 10 positions compared to 2020, despite a 7% uptick in its median. Covering the iconic Marina District, 94123 featured a $2,307,000 median sale price.
Of L.A.’s six zips that ranked nationally, its top three — 90272, 90077 and 90049 — form an uninterrupted cluster of pricey real estate with medians greater than $2 million. The trio was led by Pacific Palisades’ 90272 at #21 with a $3.25 million median sale price after an 18% Y-o-Y increase. Covering Bel Air, Holmby Hills and areas of Beverly Glenn, 90077 was #42 nationally with a $2.46 million median, while Brentwood’s 90049 grabbed #52 at $2,165,000.
Back in the Empire State, NYC’s presence weakened yet again: While 2020 marked the first time ever that no NYC zip codes were among the country’s 10 most expensive, in 2021, NYC came in below the top 20, too. More precisely, its most expensive zip — 10013 — just missed out, landing at #22 with a $3,212,000 median sale price, followed by 10007 at #25 with a median of $3,125,000.
Next up, Newport Beach had the the third-highest concentration of pricey zips in a city, with five entries, followed by Santa Barbara with four. Specifically, the most expensive Newport Beach zip — Balboa’s 92662 — grabbed #15 with a $3,577,000, while Santa Barbara’s top zip — 93108 in the exclusive community of Montecito — was #7 nationally.
Sagaponack Finishes as #3 Priciest Nationally, NYC Drops Out of Top 20
Usually one of the strongest presences in the 100 most expensive zip codes in the U.S. (second only to California), New York state retained its position in 2021 — although with a weakened presence. Specifically, the state recorded just 17 zip codes, only six of which were in NYC. Historically speaking, the East Coast powerhouse has had a strong presence in the uppermost levels of our ranking, but only two New York state zips were among the 20 most expensive in 2021 — none of which were in New York City proper.
Rather, the Hamptons’ 11962 in Sagaponack was the #3 most expensive zip code in the U.S. And, although its median sale price of $5 million was up 29% Y-o-Y, Boston’s Back Bay pushed it down one position, ending Sagaponack’s three-year reign as runner-up to the priciest zip code in the country.
The next-highest New York zip code was fellow Hamptons zip 11976 in Water Mill, which came in at #13 with a $3,745,000 median sale price, up an impressive 51% Y-o-Y. At the same time, last year’s #7 nationally — 11932 in Bridgehampton— dropped to #31 after an 11% Y-o-Y price contraction suppressed its median to $2,963,000.
Other zip codes outside of NYC included four more Hamptons locations: The pricey North Shore’s 11568 in Old Westbury which climbed to #62 with a $1.95 million median, as well as two Westchester zip codes. The latter included top 100 veteran 10580 in Rye at #72, plus newcomer 10577 in Purchase, which placed 88th with a $1.7 million median sale price.
Of NYC’s famously expensive real estate, only six zip codes ranked nationally in 2021. And, as a historic first, not one of them placed among the country’s 20 most expensive. Overall, NYC’s top two zips were Manhattan’s 10013 and 10007, claiming #22 and #25, respectively.
To be precise, 10013 — which covers parts of TriBeCa, SoHo, Little Italy and Hudson Square — posted a $3,212,000 median sale price, up 7% Y-o-Y, but still reeling from the 19% price crunch it experienced in 2020. Likewise, Downtown Manhattan, TriBeCa and SoHo’s 10007 posted a $3,125,000 median sale price, dropping 14 spots Y-o-Y. They were followed by Battery Park City’s 10282 with its $2,725,000 median at #35.
And, while Brooklyn made waves in 2019 with zip 11231’s break into the top 100, the Red Hook and Carroll Gardens zip code departed the top 100 in 2021 after a two-year stint, outpaced by sharper price gains in dozens of other zip codes nationwide.
At $2M Median, Alpine’s 07620 Leads New Jersey Real Estate for 5th Consecutive Year
While the Mid-Atlantic region was, as expected, dominated by exclusive New York locations, three New Jersey zip codes also represented the region — the highest number New Jersey has ever contributed to our list. Just 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan and with a $2 million median sale price, 07620 in Bergen County’s Alpine was the most expensive New Jersey zip code. Landing at #58 nationally, Alpine’s median was up 38% Y-o-Y, but, nonetheless, fell short of its 2018 pricing high of $2.2 million.
Alpine was joined by two beach communities, with 08750 in Monmouth County’s Sea Girt placing #70 nationally with a $1,892,000 median sale price, and 08202 in Cape May County’s Avalon landing at #92 with a $1.67 million median. Notably, both zip codes ranked among the 100 most expensive zip codes in the country for the first time.
New England Home to 11 of the Priciest U.S. Zip Codes, Including #2 with Boston’s Back Bay
Further north, New England originated 11 of the most expensive zip codes in the country — the highest figure yet for the region — with Massachusetts contributing seven zips and Connecticut adding four. What’s more, New England also provided the #2 most expensive zip code in the U.S. with Boston’s ultra-pricey 02199.
Zip 02199, which covers the Prudential Center area of Back Bay, usually ranks among the country’s most expensive areas, but was conspicuously absent in 2020 due to depressed sales activity. However, in 2021, zip 02199 returned not only to its highest position yet at #2 nationally, but also reached a new pricing record with a $5.5 million median sale price.
Meanwhile, Nantucket’s 02554 was Massachusetts’ next most expensive zip code, with its $2 million median sale price placing it #58 nationally and marking a new median peak for the exclusive island. It was followed by Weston’s 02493 at $1.85 million,as well as Wellesley Hills’ 02481, Waban’s 02468 and Chilmark’s 02535. Boston also ranked a second time with Beacon Hill and Downtown Boston’s zip 02108, which was the 91st most expensive in the U.S. at $1,673,000.
Connecticut was represented by four Fairfield County zip codes that regularly post some of the highest median sale prices in the country: Greenwich’s perennial representative, 06830, reached its highest median sale price yet at $2.05 million — up 36% Y-o-Y. It was joined by another Greenwich zip code, newcomer 06831, which claimed the #94 spot with a $1,653,000 median.
Notably, last year’s most expensive New England zip — Riverside, Conn.’s 06878 — was only the 4th priciest in the northeastern region this year, despite reaching a new median sale price high at $1.98 million. Finally, Connecticut’s contributions to the national ranking were rounded out by 06870 in Old Greenwich, which returned to our top after last year’s absence with a $1,807,000 median in 2021 — its highest pricing point yet.
Miami Beach Returns to Top 10 Nationally, Maryland’s Gibson Island Hits Historic $3M Mark
Down south, Florida’s perennially pricey 33109 zip in Miami Beach’s Fisher Island was on the upswing compared to last year, climbing all the way from #23 to #5 nationally. And, although it wasn’t the highest position yet for the popular celebrity location (having been the #3 most expensive in the U.S. in 2017), the exclusive 33109 zip nevertheless reached a new pricing peak in 2021 with its $4,475,000 median. That came as the result of a 66% Y-o-Y price surge — the third-sharpest increase among the country’s 100 leading zip codes.
In Maryland, Gibson Island’s 21056 was among the most expensive zip codes in the U.S. yet again and marked the sixth consecutive year that it has led the state in terms of pricing. However, while 21056 usually ranked in the bottom half of our list (even ranking at #100 in 2019), the Chesapeake Bay community reached its highest position yet this year, placing #23 nationally. That was the result of a whopping 97% Y-o-Y surge — by far the sharpest gain among the country’s top zips. Not only that, but by nearly doubling its median year-over-year, Gibson Island also reached a $3,195,000 median sale price — nearly double its previous record from 2016.
Arizona & Nevada’s Most Expensive Communities Enter Top 50 for 1st Time
Across the country, the Mountain States were again led by three high-income enclaves — Nevada’s Glenbrook and Crystal Bay on the shores of Lake Tahoe, as well as Arizona’s Paradise Valley — marking the first time that all three landed in the upper half of our ranking.
Specifically, 85253 in Arizona’s Paradise Valley claimed #50 after a 41% Y-o-Y price jump raised its median to $2,175,000. A favorite of some of the highest-profile rock stars in the world, the Maricopa County zip finally broke into the country’s most expensive zip codes in 2019, although it had already been the leader of pricey Arizona real estate for years.
Nevada was represented by two zip codes — 89413 and 89402 — for the third consecutive year, with both Lake Tahoe enclaves reaching their highest positions and pricing points to date. In particular, Glenbrook’s 89413 placed in the upper third of our ranking, landing at #29 with a record $3 million median sale price, the result of a 38% Y-o-Y price jump.
The Douglas County zip was joined by 89402 in Washoe County’s Crystal Bay at #39 with a record $2.5 million median sale price. Up 56 positions compared to last year, 89402 logged a staggering 68% median sale price surge, the second-sharpest price increase among the country’s top 100 zips.
Exclusive King County Enclaves Lead Pacific Northwest’s Priciest Real Estate
About 1,000 miles further north, the Pacific Northwest was, once again, represented not by Seattle or Portland, but by the high-income enclaves of Medina and Mercer Island in Washington state.
Specifically, Medina’s 98039 reached its highest pricing point with a $4 million median. This was the result of a 24% Y-o-Y increase that helped the tech-billionaire favorite remain among the most exclusive zip codes in the U.S., ranking as the #10 priciest. It’s also worth noting that 2021 marked the sixth consecutive year that Medina’s 98039 was the undisputed leader of expensive real estate in the Pacific Northwest.
And, returning to our list after its 2019 debut, fellow King County zip 98040 landed at #82. Also a favorite of tech executives, high-profile sports figures and media personalities, the Mercer Island zip code posted a $1,795,000 median sale price.
The most expensive zip codes in the U.S.
Make sure to explore 2020’s rankings as well.