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
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com