California and New York lead U.S.with most expensive residential ZIP codes

2250 Vallejo St. San Francisco, CA
Neal Ward Properties
Would you get a kick out living in one of the priciest ZIP codes in the United States, or maybe just to know where they are? There are different ways to measure which are the costliest places to live, but, however you count the big bucks, California and New York state together are home to more than 90 percent of the most expensive U.S. ZIP codes, according to PropertyShark.

PropertyShark’s top 100 list is based on median selling prices during 2016. Note the importance of actual selling price. Forbes published its own list of the 500 most expensive ZIP, with some significant differences from PropertyShark’s reckoning. Why would there by any difference? According to PropertyShark, Forbes based its top 100 most expensive ZIP code list on listing or asking prices.

The Forbes and PropertyShark lists both use the median, or middle, prices of the homes on the market in each ZIP code. Final selling prices can differ significantly from asking prices, especially in lofty price ranges. The price drop or negotiation factor difference between listing and actual sales price can make a huge difference on the median in an area where few homes are on the market.

One way to compare the differences between the two lists is to see the range between Nos. 1 and 100 on each list. On the Forbes list, for example, Manalapan, Florida, ZIP code 33462 had a median price of $7.8 million. The top ZIP code on PropertyShark’s list was 11962 in Sagaponack, New York, with a median sale price of $5.5 million.

Brooklyn, New York, ZIP code 11231, nailed position No. 100 on the Forbes list, with a median listing price of $2,361,460. Switching to the PropertyShark list, No. 100 was Orinda, California, ZIP code 94563, with a median selling price of $1,350,000.

However you slice the numbers, two states stand out. Focusing just on what residential real estate actually sold for, not the prenegotiated listing prices, in 2016 California was home to 72 of the priciest ZIP codes and New York cleaned up with 21 top 100 ZIP codes. So that makes a combined 93 percent of the most expensive ZIP codes in those two state. Other states on the list included Florida, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada, Connecticut, and Hawaii.

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