The pandemic is having unexpected consequences on the US housing market. One of them is the rise in the number of cities where the average price of a house is one million dollars, according to a study by real estate site Zillow. There are currently 312 such cities across the country, 45 more than in 2019.
The vast majority of them (70%) are located in nine areas along the American coast, including the areas around New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The metropolitan areas around San Jose, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. are also home to several cities where the average price of a home exceeds one million dollars. "This net gain of 45 cities in membership in the million-dollar city club is the largest increase in at least a decade -- a reflection of the red hot market last year in which home values grew 7.5% annually in November on the back of surging housing demand through most of 2020," indicates Zillow's report.
Although the median value of a single-family home in the United States is around $263,000, it is not uncommon for prices to peak in some areas. This is the case of Atherton in California, which is known as the richest and most expensive municipality in the country. You'd have to budget around 6.6 million dollars to buy a house in this town of 7,000 inhabitants, where tech giants such as Sheryl Sandberg and Eric Schmidt have made their home.
340 million dollars for "The One"
Hunts Point (Washington State), Sagaponack (New York) and Jupiter Island (Florida) are also among the cities where real estate is selling for seven-figure amounts. The most coveted home in the US market, however, is in the upscale Bel Air enclave in Los Angeles. It is "The One", a property with more than 9,700 square meters of living space that could fetch as much as $340 million, according to AD magazine.
Although this amount is unprecedented in the US real estate market, Zillow notes that the pandemic is far from having dampened the American craze for houses. So much so that the site estimates that 5.7 million homes were sold in 2020, an increase of 5.9% over the previous year. This surge is fueled in particular by the search for space after the confinement of spring, and the rise of the home office .