The 15 Most Expensive Housing Markets in the US: Real Estate with the Highest Average Home Prices

The most expensive housing markets in the U.S. have an average home price almost three times the national average.

The statue of Liberty with Downtown New York skyline panorama with Ellis Island in the foreground at night in New York City, USA
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Home prices may have peaked in the summer of 2022, but the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. are still shockingly pricey. 

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index is up 5.58% since February of last year. The 20-city index, which measures only the very largest metro housing markets, is up 6.13% over the same time frame. 

Both indexes are still up about 9.85% and 9.62% respectively over the past three years, however, and experts see mounting evidence that the recent increase in home prices may already be coming to an end. 

After nine months of steadily increasing housing prices in the U.S., price growth has now decreased for the second month in a row according to the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index,

The bottom line is that despite some recent relief, the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. remain exceedingly costly by historical standards and they aren't expected to get much cheaper anytime soon. 

To determine what average home prices look like on the ground in the nation's most expensive housing markets, we turned to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). Their cost of living index measures prices in 265 urban areas for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services (such as getting your hair done or going to a movie).

Signs of inflation abound, but home prices are what really stand out. As of the end of 2023, the average price of a home in the U.S. came to $500,584, according to C2ER. That's up from $452,510 just one year — or an increase of nearly 10%.

Most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

photo of a house made of $100 bills

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That sticker shock is even more salient in a select set of U.S. cities.

With C2ER's data in hand, we were able to identify the 15 most expensive housing markets in the U.S. — and the premiums home prices command to the national average. (Spoiler alert: the 15 U.S. cities with the highest average home prices have an average home price of $1.34 million, or 2.7 times the national average.)

So just how costly do the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. get? Take a closer look at the U.S. cities with the highest average home prices. For good measure, we've also included data on median household incomes, average rents, related housing costs and other pertinent information. (For comparison's sake, here's a look at the most expensive cities in the U.S., where residents are willing to pay more for everything in exchange for the opportunities the cities offer).


Source: C2ER's Cost of Living Index, 2023 Third Quarter Data, published October 2023. Index data is based on average prices of goods and services collected during the first three quarters of 2023, with index values based on the new weights for 2023. Population data, household incomes, home values, poverty rates and other demographic information are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts. 

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