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Marin maintains presence in ranking of priciest ZIP codes in U.S. - The Jenn Pfeiffer Team
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Marin maintains presence in ranking of priciest ZIP codes in U.S.

Marin maintains presence in ranking of priciest ZIP codes in U.S.

By: Kate Talerico | Marin Independent Journal

The Bay Area, with its million-dollar views and multimillion-dollar enclaves, has kept its status as the most expensive metropolitan area in the United States.

The region’s ZIP codes make up 37 of the top 100 most expensive ZIP codes in the country, according to a new 2023 ranking by real estate data company PropertyShark that examined median home sales prices.

Marin County has six ZIP codes on the top-100 list, led by Stinson Beach at No. 6. Its ZIP code, 94970, had a median home price of $4.5 million last year, according to the analysis.

Debra Allen, a Coldwell Banker Realty agent who was involved in a $17.5 million home sale last month in Stinson Beach, said the ranking does not surprise her.

“The coast of Marin has always been unique and special,” she said. “You can’t compare it with all the other ones just like it, because there are no other ones just like it.”

The other Marin ZIP codes and median prices include: 94957 in Ross at No. 21 ($3.4 million); 94920 in Belvedere/Tiburon at No. 22 ($3.2 million); 94939 in Larkspur at No. 55 ($2.29 million); 94941 in Mill Valley at No. 76 ($2.05 million); and 94904 in Greenbrae at No. 91 ($1.92 million).

“The two biggest reasons Bay Area housing stands above the rest of the country are high incomes and limited homes,” said Orphe Divounguy, an economist at the Zillow real estate data company. “There have not been enough homes built in the Bay Area to keep up with demand, which is true in much of the country but made worse in the Bay Area because there isn’t a whole lot of space available to build. That dynamic where demand is greater than supply has led buyers to compete for what’s available. And because there are a lot of high earners living in the Bay Area, there is extra heft behind those bidding wars.”

While the housing market nationally has experienced a slowdown, some wealthy, in-demand areas — including in the Bay Area — have seen prices tick up.

“The most exclusive areas in the country are still experiencing growth, defying the overall trend of declining prices,” according to the PropertyShark report.

Atherton’s tony 94027 ranked at the top of the list for the seventh year in a row, with a median sales price of $8.3 million, an increase of 5% from last year’s $7.9 million. The town, just 5 square miles, is a hamlet for tech industry power players, as well as celebrities, including billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

Those notable names have created a cachet around Atherton, the San Mateo County town with one of the highest per capita incomes in the country.

“The level of sophistication of the people where we live is a big draw,” said Katy Thielke Straser, a real estate agent with the Straser Silicon Valley Team with Compass.

The communities around Atherton on the Peninsula also command top dollar because of their proximity to top schools, both private and public.

“There’s just not a lot of dirt to build on, and everyone wants to be there,” said Thielke Straser. “Even with interest rates as high as they are, people are still trying to get into a house here, and that puts pressure on the market.”

Most lots in Atherton are more than an acre in size, about 43,560 square feet on average. Meanwhile, the average lot size in neighboring Menlo Park is closer to 10,000 square feet, said Veronica Kogler, an agent on the Peninsula with Coldwell Banker.

“Atherton’s larger lots allow people to build larger homes and offer homeowners greater privacy,” she said.

Still, several Bay Area ZIP codes dropped in the rankings. Last year, the Bay Area had a record 46 ZIP codes in the top 100. San Francisco only had three ZIP codes in the top 100 in 2023, a drop from the 13 it recorded in 2019.

“You hear about how expensive San Francisco is, but the houses in my area would blow the prices out of the water there,” Kogler said. “It’s only certain neighborhoods of San Francisco that command the top dollar amounts.”

The Bay Area’s hottest county was Santa Clara, with 16 ZIP codes in the top 100. However, among counties with the most exclusive ZIP codes, the report noted, Santa Clara was the only one not represented in the top 10. Santa Clara was followed by San Mateo (eight), Marin (six), Contra Costa (four) and San Francisco (three) counties. But Alameda County, previously with three ZIP codes among the country’s most expensive, did not make it into the top 100 this year.

Across the nine-county Bay Area, median home prices are up 6.6% from last year, reaching $1.3 million in September, according to data from the California Association of Realtors.

The Bay Area ZIP codes ranking in the top 25 include:

  • 94027 in Atherton at No. 1 ($8.3 million)
  • 94970 in Stinson Beach at No. 6 ($4.5 million)
  • 94024 in Los Altos at No. 12 ($4 million)
  • 94022 in Los Altos Hills at No. 13 ($3.99 million)
  • 94028 in Portola Valley at No. 15 ($3.8 million)
  • 95070 in Saratoga at No. 16 ($3.7 million)
  • 94301 in Palo Alto at No. 19 ($3.5 million)
  • 94957 in Ross at No. 21 ($3.4 million)
  • 94920 in Belvedere/Tiburon at No. 22 ($3.2 million)
  • 94010 in Hillsborough at No. 22 ($3.2 million)
  • 95030 in Los Gatos at No. 23 ($3.13 million)

Other top ZIP codes included 11962 in Sagaponack, New York, in the Hamptons at No. 2 ($8.1 million), and 33109 in Miami Beach, Florida, at No. 3 ($5.5 million).

The Independent Journal contributed to this report.

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