Architecture & Real Estate | November 26, 2021 6:13 am

What Does “Least Expensive” Mean In the Country’s Priciest Zip Codes?

A new study has some surprises in store

House under construction
What constitutes a bargain can vary dramatically from place to place.
Avel Chuklanov/Unsplash

Across the country, there are certain zip codes that are associated with an affluent way of life. In some cases, this might be an entire municipality. For instance, Alpine, New Jersey has a modest population that includes a host of prominent actors and executives. In others, one zip code within a larger city might designate a well-to-do neighborhood, such as Austin, Texas’s 78701.

In those areas, are all of the homes equally luxurious — or are there bargains to be had? A recent study from PropertyShark analyzed the nation’s most expensive zip codes. Now, a followup study from Point2 explores the other side of that same data — namely, what are the least expensive homes for sale in the zip codes in question?

As with so many things involving real estate, the answer is relative. The study cites two zip codes — 02199 in Boston and 11962 in Sagaponack — where the median price for a home is in the neighborhood of $5 million. In both, the least expensive homes available were substantially less — but still carried a price tag of around $1.5 million.

Some other useful takeaways from the study:

Occasionally, affordable homes exist alongside the more luxurious. In Redwood City, the median home price in 94062 is $2.5 million — but the study’s authors found a home available there for $600,000. This same phenomenon shows up elsewhere, including in New York City and Paradise Valley, Arizona.

In a few cases, the least expensive home in a particular zip code was more than the median home price. The median home price in Summerland, California’s 94087 is $2.19 million — but the least expensive home currently for sale there was quite a bit more. And by that, we mean it has a list price of over $10 million.

The whole study is fascinating reading — and contains more than a few surprises.