We’re curious. There’s no other way to explain our fascination—make that obsession—with the biggest, the best, and the richest. We always desire a glimpse inside the lives of the wealthiest among us, to learn what cars they drive, what clothes they wear, and, most importantly, where they live. (What else could possibly explain 14 seasons of “The Real Housewives of Orange County”?)
To satisfy our innate curiosity about high-end housing, the data team at realtor.com® set out to pinpoint the most expensive neighborhoods in each and every state. Plus DC, because why not?
To track down each state’s priciest place, our data team calculated the median listing price for every ZIP code in the U.S. in 2018. ZIP codes with fewer than an average of 30 listings per month were eliminated, to make sure the results weren’t skewed by a few big-ticket listings.
The result is a fascinating mix of places you’ve probably heard of alongside some up-and-coming bastions of wealth. You’ll find them below in alphabetical order by state.
Grab your checkbook and take a look!
Birmingham, AL (Mountain Brook) ZIP code: 35223 Median home list price: $611,612
Mountain Brook in Birmingham, AL
Birmingham’s real estate market is in the midst of a boom, with new jobs delivering droves of eager home buyers into the burbs. But only the elite earn a spot in the Magic City’s southeastern suburb of Mountain Brook, which has long been a haven for the city’s upper crust, according to Zachary Armstrong, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Birmingham. They’re flocking to Beverly Hills–style estates built in the 1920s with enormous pools, manicured lawns, and city views. Plus, the suburb offers low property tax rates and the highest-rated schools in the state—a potent combo.
Anchorage, AK ZIP code: 99516 Median home list price: $537,129
Ever dream of quitting your stressful 9-to-5 and taking off for greener pastures? How about whiter and fluffier ones? For years deep-pocketed international buyers have done just that, swooping into the upscale southeast section of Anchorage where huge cedar and wood homes offer primo views of snow-capped mountains.
“At first it was a lot of Canadians, but we’ve also been seeing Koreans, Russians, and Germans,” says Jacob Sebring, a local real estate agent with Keller Williams.
Paradise Valley, AZ ZIP code: 85253 Median home list price: $2,263,540
Paradise Valley, AZ
Nestled between Phoenix and Scottsdale, Paradise Valley manages to juggle a few distinct personas: amped-up tourist locale (eight full-service resorts!), upscale retirement mecca (one-quarter of the city’s population is aged 65 and up, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), and, weirdly, hot spot for pro athletes. But the last part of that equation may be falling off a bit: Over the past year, we’ve seen Randy Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Matt Williams all put their Paradise Valley megamansions on the market.
Fayetteville, AR ZIP code: 72703 Median home list price: $417,265
It’s the Walmart effect. Questions?
Beverly Hills, CA ZIP code: 90210 Median home list price: $6,062,925
Beverly Hills, CA
Despite the frenzied attention paid lately to the eye-popping home prices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the old-money enclave of Beverly Hills holds its own as the wealthiest neighborhood in the Golden State—and the most expensive town in America.
The iconic 90210 ZIP did more than just launch one of the most fab shows of the ’90s (the less said about the CW reboot, the better), it also boasts some of the nation’s most extravagant properties, including the Beverly House, a 19-bedroom estate once owned by William Randolph Hearst. Even dirt and trees go for big bucks in this sunny paradise. Case in point? This massive plot of land on the market for $1 billion. And no, there isn’t a house on it.
Snowmass, CO ZIP code: 81654 Median home list price: $3,355,488
With home prices in red-hot cities like Denver and Boulder soaring, it might come as a surprise that a small ski village topped Colorado’s most expensive list.
Location, location, location: Nestled in the Colorado Mountains, Snowmass is just a 25-minute drive to ultraposh Aspen. This ski town’s housing stock consists mostly of enormous mansions—unlike in Aspen, where a plethora of small condos have pulled down the median prices.
Greenwich, CT ZIP code: 06831 Median home list price: $2,625,154
Located within easy-peasy commuting distance to New York City, Greenwich is the crown jewel of Connecticut’s “Gold Coast”—a cluster of leafy and enormously affluent suburban towns along the Long Island Sound. It’s long been the destination for ungodly rich hedge fund managers or titans of industry who want to spread out and escape midtown Manhattan.
Some real estate markets in the tri-state region are seeing slowdowns, but not Greenwich. Area mansions are still selling briskly, according to Leslie McElwreath, a real estate agent at Sotheby’s International.
Wilmington, DE (Westover Hills) ZIP code: 19807 Median home list price: $890,829
Fun fact: Even though it was set in Vermont, 1989’s “Dead Poets Society” was the first major Hollywood release filmed entirely in Delaware, most of it in the Westover Hills area (yep, even the traumatizing student suicide scene).
Today Westover Hills, just 10 minutes north of downtown Wilmington, is sought-after for its old-money homes built in the late 1920s and 1930s, says Tucker Robbins, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway.
“The neighborhood blends Tudor-style homes with Georgian-style homes with Colonial homes,” he says. “Our community fights to keep this particular look, and people are willing to spend the money to be a part of it.”
District of Columbia
Washington, DC (Georgetown) ZIP code: 20007 Median home list price: $1,246,663
Georgetown in Washington, DC
Scores of wealthy diplomats, lobbyists, and politicians have called Georgetown home over the years. Administrations come and go, but the beautiful brick homes and 100-year-old Colonial row houses in this neighborhood continue to attract those who want to live in style close to the action. Home prices in this famous neighborhood along the Potomac River begin in the seven digits and range all the way up to $18 million.
Miami Beach, FL (Fisher Island) ZIP code: 33109 Median home list price: $3,592,981
Fisher Island in Miami Beach, FL
Just off the shores of Miami, Fisher Island has become a second-home destination for many of the world’s wealthiest folks—including Russian oligarchs, who keep their helicopters and yachts here. The 200-acre island, once owned by the Vanderbilt family, is accessible only by ferry, water taxi, or helicopter. Luxury condos and villas dominate the housing stock and can easily top $10 million, including this five-bedroom beauty for $12 million.
Sea Island, GA ZIP code: 31561 Median home list price: $2,786,717
Sea Island, GA
Sea Island, a privately owned territory about 60 miles south of Savannah, has long been a hot spot for the ruling class. The centerpiece is the Sea Island Beach Club and its accompanying hotel, The Cloister. After President Calvin Coolidge vacationed there in 1928, Sea Island gained national attention. It wasn’t long before Eugene O’Neill and John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought property in the area, and the VIP cavalcade has barely abated since.
Buyers are attracted to the oceanfront mansions with manicured lawns and mature oaks, such as this 5,700-square-foot palace for a cool $14.95 million.
Kilauea, HI ZIP code: 96754 Median home list price: $2,285,904
At the northern tip of the island of Kauai, you’ll find Kilauea, a small community with multimillion-dollar homes that boast ocean views that are almost painfully beautiful. The place worked its charms on Mark Zuckerberg, who bought a coveted (and controversial) piece of property along the ocean.
Homes on this part of the island are often relatively modest structures, but you don’t come to Hawaii for megamansions.
In Kilauea, “most homes are within walking distance to all Hawaii has to offer: swimming, snorkeling, and hiking,” says Danette Andrews, a real estate agent at Sotheby’s International Realty in Kauai.
Ketchum, ID ZIP code: 83340 Median home list price: $1,488,696
Ketchum gained attention after it caught the eye of Ernest Hemingway in the late 1950s. The novelist loved fishing and hunting in the area so much that he bought a home overlooking Wood River, where he lived until his death in 1961.
Today, the area is popular with wealthy and famous folks looking for a (beautiful) second home near plenty of outdoor activities. Ketchum is right next to the famed Sun Valley ski resort, and it’s also a prime spot for media titans thanks to the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. It pretty much defines chic-but-mellow ski town ambiance.
Kenilworth, IL ZIP code: 60043 Median home list price: $1,517,467
Businessman Joseph Sears sought to create the perfect (and perfectly opulent) suburban community when he planned and built Kenilworth in the late 1800s. Flash forward to 1987, and it was the cherished place where Steve Martin‘s character struggles to make it home for Thanksgiving in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”
Dubbed “the most exclusive neighborhood in the Midwest” by Forbes, this Chicago ZIP code is still a mecca for suburban bliss. The city’s heavy hitters are lured by the quiet streets and the giant estates that Sears once dreamed about.
Zionsville, IN ZIP code: 46077 Median home list price: $560,520
Just 18 miles north of downtown Indianapolis, Zionsville is sought-after for its excellent schools and redeveloped downtown, complete with restaurants, boutiques, and year-round festivals.
“I get a lot of people moving in from out of state who will commute down to the city,” says Kelly Lavengood, a real estate agent with the Lavengood Team in Indianapolis. The high end of the market stretches to about $3 million.
Cedar Rapids, IA ZIP code: 52411 Median home list price: $450,469
Cedar Rapids, IA
The northwest side of Cedar Rapids is the place to be! However, some may call it trouble in paradise. The city is attracting so many deep-pocketed buyers that wannabe home buyers are finding it more difficult to score a house. Competition is through the roof, with homes selling way over listing price.
Leawood, KS ZIP code: 66211 Median home list price: $1,078,967
Leawood’s small-town charm and proximity to Kansas City have spurred real estate prices, says local real estate agent Tamra Trickey with ReeceNichols. Lately there’s been a housing shortage, and three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes can easily fetch over $1 million.
Goshen, KY ZIP code: 40026 Median home list price: $545,298
Just 20 miles northeast of Louisville, Goshen is home to a number of historic horse farms in its high-end neighborhoods. Not only do these farms raise property values, but equestrian property buyers are willing to cough up extra cash to keep their precious ponies in their own backyard. Giddyap!
New Orleans, LA (Lakeview) ZIP code: 70124 Median home list price: $511,027
Lakeview neighborhood in New Orleans, LA
Few neighborhoods in New Orleans were harder hit by Hurricane Katrina than the upper-middle-class enclave Lakeside, which completely flooded after the levees were breached.
Its “very existence was in peril,” according to The Advocate. But after federally funded rebuilding, Lakeview rebounded with a vengeance and is now thriving—and it’s more upscale now than before the storm. Currently, you’ll find no shortage of pricey properties, including this Colonial-style home for $849,000.
Kennebunkport, ME ZIP code: 04046 Median home list price: $727,765
This tiny town is home to some seriously big bucks and understated wealth, New England style. Expect to see popped collars, vintage yachts, and four- to five-bedroom homes quaintly referred to as “cottages.”
On the banks of the Atlantic you’ll find Walker’s Point, the summer compound of the late President George H.W. Bush. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently built his own cottage on the land.
Potomac, MD ZIP code: 20854 Median home list price: $1,346,967
Many of DC’s movers and shakers actually live in Maryland, where the vibe is much more suburban. A 30-minute commute to the capital, Potomac offers grand mansions for millionaires. We’d vote for this seven-bedroom, 25,000-square-foot home listed for $4.9 million.
Boston, MA (Beacon Hill) ZIP code: 02108 Median home list price: $3,382,008
Beacon Hill in Boston, MA
Boston is world-famous for its historic housing stock, but precious few buyers can actually land one of these homes.
“The city has a number of historic housing districts, and there are very strict building codes in place for these areas,” says Collin Bray, a real estate agent at Century 21 Cityside in Boston. “Since you can’t build anything new, it limits the supply of the brownstones buyers want.”
And while this city has seen enormous transformations over the past decade or two, historic Beacon Hill remains the nucleus of upscale Boston—and one of America’s most prestigious communities. Former Secretary of State John Kerry owns a 9,000-square-foot townhouse here, and the area offers up a mixture of condos and beautiful old brownstones that can run from $10 million to $15 million.
Birmingham, MI ZIP code: 48009 Median home list price: $923,630
Even as Detroit continues to lurch toward a revival, buyers are hesitant to move downtown. When the city was in its prime, wealthy automobile moguls, including Henry Ford, resided in ritzy suburbs like Dearborn and Highland Park. But today, the affluent are more likely headed to Birmingham, about 25 minutes north of the Motor City. Birmingham’s downtown offers fine restaurants and a year-round farmers market that’s been voted one of Michigan’s best.
According to Tushar Vakhariya, an agent with Keller Homes Luxury Homes International, chic and modern condos, historic Craftsman-style houses, and cozy Cape Cod–style homes are flying off the market.
Wayzata, MN ZIP code: 55391 Median home list price: $1,185,877
This lakeside town has been a hot spot since the Civil War. These days it’s a full-blown symbol of Midwestern affluence: A beachside condo can fetch $4 million, and a lakeshore estate can run as high as $9 million.
Madison, MS ZIP code: 39110 Median home list price: $397,004
Not only is Madison right on Barnett Reservoir, it’s also a mere 15 miles north of job-rich Jackson. With the low cost of living in Mississippi, white-collar workers can buy a large place for a relatively small outlay, such as this six-bedroom home on the water for $729,000.
Ladue, MO ZIP code: 63124 Median home list price: $1,202,740