After home prices climbed by a record-setting 16.9% nationwide in 2021, the market was met with another stunning statistic in April 2022: 11 American metros now have a median home sold price of more than $500,000. The half-million dollar average sale price metric comes from an OJO Labs survey of March home sales. Nationwide, the median sales price of a home reached $392,750 as of mid-April 2022.
In historically wealthy cities and those with more modest home prices, the trajectory is the same: Prices keep going up even as mortgage rates spike. Causes for the price jumps are mirrored across the country. A long-term housing shortage that began after the Great Recession was exacerbated by supply chain disruptions that made it harder to source construction material, which affected virtually all housing markets. Another factor that has driven up prices is the rise of investors that have entered the market. In many regions including Charlotte, North Carolina, investment firms are buying up huge swaths of single-family homes.
In smaller cities and towns, traditionally lower population numbers were met with a swell of households moving away from big cities during the coronavirus pandemic, driving competition up for housing. Record-low mortgage rates were another reason for an exploding number of buyers, although rising rates don’t seem to be doing much to slow bidding wars in many metros.
To illustrate this point, real estate platform ZeroDown analyzed its data on home listings across 20 metropolitan areas in the United States to determine the most expensive neighborhood in each, based on homes sold between March 18, 2022 and April 18, 2022. Neighborhoods are ranked by the median home price per square foot.
Metros selected for this list range from those known for historically modest bungalows to those renowned for expensive zip codes. Some represent massive increases in home sale prices, such as the previously affordable city of Phoenix, which has led the country in home price increases for 33 months straight as of April 2022. Downtown Phoenix, in particular, saw a nearly 30% price increase between March of 2021 and 2022.
Other metros we included—such as Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco—illustrate a widening wealth gap, which keeps residents earning fewer than six figures priced out of homeownership in those cities.
The list represents both coasts and most geographic regions of the U.S. In addition to median home prices, we’ve included data points for each metro covering median rent, neighborhood population, walk score, bike score, and transit score.
Read on to see how your city’s most expensive neighborhood compares to those across the country.