15 U.S. Cities With the Highest Average Home Prices

Home prices have rocketed higher across most of the country, but housing costs are acutely painful in these 15 U.S. cities.

Manhattan skyline
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's no secret that the nation's housing market is molten hot. Low inventory, affordable mortgage rates and intense competition have sent average home prices soaring – especially in markets that were pricy to begin with.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index has jumped by nearly a fifth over the past 12 months. The 20-city index, which measures only the very largest metro housing markets, is up by even more.

To determine what the highest average home prices look like on the ground, we turned to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). Their Cost of Living Index measures prices in 258 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 housing prices are what really stand out. As of the end of the second quarter of 2021, average home prices in the U.S. came to $395,284, according to C2ER. That's up from $326,412 just five years ago.

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 U.S. cities with the highest average home prices – and the premiums they command to what the typical American pays for a home. (Spoiler alert: The 15 U.S. cities with the highest average home prices have an average home price of $1.1 million, or 2.7 times the national average.)

How expensive does it 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.

C2ER's Cost of Living Index is based on price data collected during the second quarter of 2021. City-level data on populations, median household incomes and other demographic data are courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

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 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.