LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION . . .
December 30, 2021
“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain
In a year distinguished by pandemic and economic issues, the residential market continued to trend high according to PropertyShark, a research source for real estate professionals and homebuyers across the U.S. The organization compiled its information by calculating median home sale prices to ensure an accurate picture of market conditions, as opposed to listing prices that reflect sellers’ wishes. Its expertise in the technology category was recognized when it was honored in November as Tech Platform of the Year at the 2021 NYC RED (“Real Estate Development”) Awards, a gala attended by more than 150 industry decision makers.
PropertyShark’s research highlighted the ever-increasingly competitive residential markets of economically vital urban centers.
All residential transactions that closed between January 1, 2021 and October 22, 2021 were considered, taking into account condos, co-ops, and single- and two-family homes. Due to several ties, the ranking of the 100 most expensive zip codes in the country included a total of 127 zip codes.
California continued to provide the bulk of the high-end locales, originating 70% of the zip codes on the list, including six of the top 10 priciest. Los Angeles County, the hottest county in the U.S. for pricey real estate, featured 21 zip codes in the national top 100 and two zip codes in the top 10.
Key findings from the study reflected that for the first time ever, the country’s top 10 most expensive zip codes all surpassed $4 million. Thirty of the 100 priciest zip codes in the U.S. featured medians higher than $3 million, more than double the areas in 2020.
Our Golden State’s 70% of the priciest housing markets had 37% concentrated in the Bay Area alone. Los Angeles County’s most expensive zip code was Beverly Hills’ 90210, ranking #6 nationally with a median of $4.1 million. Santa Monica's 90402 ranked #8 nationally, with a median of $4 million. Tied with New York City, Los Angeles had the #2 highest number of expensive zip codes, with six zip codes ranking nationally.
Culver City’s 90232, not about to be overlooked, made the list as #79 with a median of $1,819,000. With Amazon Studios, WarnerMedia, Apple, and TikTok having all taken office space in the city in the past four years, a positive effect on the housing market seemed inevitable.
But do bargains still exist for homebuyers?
Based on PropertyShark’s 2021 edition of the 100 most expensive zip codes in the U.S., Point2, an international real estate search portal that is its sister division, set out to discover the least expensive homes currently in the most expensive zip codes and identified the lowest-priced listings on the market in Los Angeles as well as in each of the nation's most expensive zip codes, coming up with some surprising figures.
For example, the least expensive home for sale in Santa Monica’s 90402, one of the most expensive zip codes in the nation, had an asking price of $579,000 despite the median sale price in the area being over $4 million. The biggest disparity was that the “cheapest” listing on the market in Summerland, CA’s 93067 was asking over $10 million, despite the zip code having a median home price of $2,190,000. The least expensive home in the country’s most expensive zip code, Atherton, CA's 94027, was listed for $5 million. Although very high, it was still about $2.5 million below the local median.
At the other end, the lowest-priced properties in Calabasas, CA’s 91302 and Laguna Beach, CA’s 92651 displayed asking prices below $200,000. It should also be noted that California boasts the most space, with the two least expensive homes in Summerland’s 93067 and Ross’s 94957 offering more than 5,000 square feet of living space.
As for Culver City’s 90232 zip code, which appeared as #79 on PropertyShark’s list, it showed an asking price of $949,000 for a unit of 1,468 sq. ft. This was $870,000 below the area’s median sale price of $1,819,000.
Please note that current asking prices and medians may have changed since receipt of the information very helpfully provided by PropertyShark and Point2.
If there’s a lesson in all of this, perhaps it’s to heed Will Rogers’ advice: “Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.”