America's Most Expensive Zip Codes, 2011

Forbes

In the Long Island ZIP code 11962, better known as Sagaponack, N.Y., the most expensive property currently for sale is listed at $30 million. That’s for a partially developed 3.8-acre lot of prime beachfront land with a six-bedroom house, a quaint cottage and “room for tennis and pool,” according to the Corcoran Group listing. The property also comes with billionaire neighbors like industrialist Ira Rennert, whose massive Fair Field estate is assessed at $200 million, and hedge fund boss David Tepper, who recently tore down his $43.5 million house to build a bigger one.

The thick concentration of some of America’s richest people helped make the swanky Hamptons village the third most expensive ZIP code in the country for home sales this year, with a median asking price of $3,595,000. It comes in behind two zip codes that regularly grace the top spots of our list: Alpine, N.J., 07620, at No. 1, and Atherton, Calif., 94027, at No. 2.

Slideshow: America's Most Expensive Zip Codes
Slideshow: America's Most Expensive Zip Codes

Alpine is an exclusive New York City suburb where the median home price is $4,295,000, street addresses are regularly scrambled on Google and the residents include celebrities like Stevie Wonder and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. In Atherton, a tony town in the San Francisco bay area, $4,295,000 is the median home price thanks to tech billionaires like Eric Schmidt and Meg Whitman.

We compiled our list with the help of Altos Research, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that tracks housing data in real time. It pulled pricing information for more than 20,000 ZIP codes across the U.S. for June 2 to Sept. 2, zeroing in on the 500 most expensive. Altos calculated the median asking price for both single-family homes and condominiums, weighting the price based on the mix of local property types. Altos limited the search to ZIP codes where 20 or more residences were listed for sale, including short sales and bank-owned foreclosures on the market.

Since our list is based on asking prices rather than tax assessments, it may be unfair to assume that our list is completely representative of the communities featured — for example, there could be pockets of long-time residents in modest homes in areas that have become swankier in recent years. Rather, our list is a snapshot of each market’s current activity. “We look at listing prices because, if you were to go into one of these markets with the intention of buying a home, this is what you would see in the market,” says Michael Simonsen, chief executive of Altos Research.

Median home prices in the 500 ZIP codes we considered are down 2% overall from our 2010 list, which is the mildest depreciation in years. In 2010 prices were off 5% year-over year and in 2009, 7%. Inventory levels have remained about the same since 2009, but real estate appraisers like Jonathan Miller, chief executive of New York’s Miller Samuel, say there’s been an uptick in listings in the luxury end of major U.S. markets this year. “It’s not that we’re seeing prices rise, it’s that we’re seeing more activity,” Miller told Forbes recently.

Here are America's 10 most expensive zip codes:

#10 11568, Old Westbury, NY
Listing: Bagatelle Estate
List Price: $10.8 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $3,095,000

No. 10 is 11568, Old Westbury, NY.
Photo: Sotheby's International Realty

A Long Island "Gold Coast" estate harking from the early 1900's, this mansion has tennis courts, a wine grotto and three brick cottages.


#9 93108, Montecito, CA
Listing: Villa Saladino
List Price: $24.5 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $3,099,348

No. 9 is 93108, Montecito, CA.
Photo: Coldwell Banker Perviews International

Designer John Saladino's 13 acre estate has a restored main house with separate staff apartments, a stone motor court with antique Venetian statuary, and grounds that include an agave garden and olive grove.


#8 11976, Water Mill, NY
Listing: Water Mill Mansion-Estate
List Price: $58.5 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $3,300,000

No. 8 is 11976, Water Mill, NY.
Photo: Sotheby's International Realty

This 20,000-square foot waterfront Hamptons manse touts eight bedrooms including staff quarters, a restaurant-grade kitchen and a staircase in cast bronze with silver and gold leafing.


#7 10013, New York, NY
Listing: 144 Duane Street
List Price: $45 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $3,317,962

No. 7 is 10013, New York City.
Photo: Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

This six floor, 30,000-square foot TriBeCa townhouse has a private gym and basketball court in the basement and a high-end showroom on the ground floor.


#6 10012, New York, NY
Listing: 95 Greene Street
List Price: $25 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $3,392,574

No. 6 is 10012, New York City.
Photo: Simon Berlyn

This 10,000-square foot triplex penthouse peddles antique Parisian doors, a custom-made glass staircase and a commercial-grade kitchen designed by Philippe Starck.


#5 90210, Beverly Hills, CA
Listing: 1215 Laurel Lane
List Price: $55 Million
Median Home Price for Zip: $3,469,891

No. 5 is 90210, Beverly Hills, CA.
Photo: Simon Berlyn

Situated on two gated acres, this property -- one of two $55 million properties for sale -- boasts eight bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a guest house and a 20-car garage.


#4 94010, Hillsborough, CA
Listing: 835 Chiltern Road
List Price: $43.9 Million
Median Home Price in Zip Code: $3,499,000

No. 4 is 94010, Hillsborough, CA.
Photo: Trulia.com

This San Francisco-area estate has a 36,000-square foot main house, indoor racquetball court, indoor and outdoor pools, waterfalls and zen gardens.


#3 11962, Sagaponack, NY
Listing: 129 Parsonage Lane
List Price: $17.8 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $$3,595,000

No. 3 is 11962, Sagaponack, NY.
Photo: Trulia.com

This 12,000-square foot Hamptons abode occupies 32 acres of reserved farm land and comes with an oversized pool, Hard-Tru tennis court and a "resort-sized" playroom in the main house's basement.


#2 94027, Atherton, CA
Listing: 52 Tuscaloosa Avenue
List Price: $20 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $4,295,000

No. 2 is 94027, Atherton, CA.
Photo: Coldwell Banker Previews International

The Silicon Valley enclave offers a lavish estate offering six bedrooms, a mahogany library, a home theater, a fitness room, and a pool with kitchen and bathroom-equipped pool house.

#1 07620, Alpine, NJ
Listing: The Stone Mansion at the Frick Estate
List Price: $53 Million
Median Home Price for Zip Code: $4,550,000

No. 1 is 07620, Alpine NJ.
Photo: Prominent Properties | Sotheby's International Realty

The most expensive home in the most expensive zip code is the Stone Mansion at the Frick Estate, a 30,000-square foot abode that received a price chop this year from its initial $68 million price tag.

Click here to see America's 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes.

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