Top 15 Priciest U.S. Neighborhoods: No. 1 Surpasses Average by 2,000%

South of Market (SoMa), a historic downtown district in San Francisco, is not only known for its museums, vibrant nightlife, and a blend of loft buildings and luxury condominiums but also stands out as the most expensive neighborhood in the United States based on price per square foot.

This information comes from a recent analysis of December 2023 home listings conducted by the online real estate portal

The cost per square foot in South of Market is an astonishing $5,415. To put this in perspective, it’s approximately 2,000% higher than the overall U.S. average, which sits at $244.

The high cost per square foot in SoMa reflects the premium associated with living in this sought-after and exclusive neighborhood in San Francisco.

Here are the 15 most expensive U.S. neighborhoods, ranked by price per square foot:

  1. South of Market, San Francisco: $5,415
  2. Northwest Auburn, Auburn, California: $4,416
  3. Old Town Carpinteria, Carpinteria, California: $4,129
  4. Downtown Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington: $3,619
  5. Port Royal, Naples, Florida: $3,375
  6. Aqualane Shores, Naples, Florida: $3,132
  7. Stinson Beach, California: $2,988
  8. Star, Palm & Hibiscus Islands, Miami Beach, Florida: $2,861
  9. Crystal Cove, Newport Beach, California: $2,771
  10. Casa del Lago, Palm Beach, Florida: $2,754
  11. West Village, New York City: $2,680
  12. Metropolitan Hill, New York City: $2,537
  13. Fisher Island, Miami: $2,511
  14. Hudson Square, New York City: $2,401
  15. Jupiter Island, Florida: $2,394

It’s not surprising that a downtown San Francisco neighborhood tops the list, given the city’s reputation for having some of the highest home prices in the country. The scarcity of land and a large population of well-paid professionals contribute to the elevated home prices. The median home price in San Francisco is $1,180,000, according to data.

The second-highest priced neighborhood is Northwest Auburn, California, located just over 120 miles away from San Francisco. Priced at $4,416 per square foot, Auburn is a historic Gold Rush-era town nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Its proximity to Sacramento makes it a desirable location, especially for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking.

Taking the third spot is the Old Town neighborhood in Carpinteria, a beachside town in California. With a cost per square foot of $4,129, Carpinteria’s limited space, surrounded by mountains, contributes to higher home prices. Homes in the historic Old Town district have a median cost of $905,500.

In contrast, the Homewood North neighborhood in Pittsburgh ranks as the least expensive among the 20,000 neighborhoods studied, with homes costing $29 per square foot. This economically depressed area has a declining population.

These rankings are based on average price per square foot data for U.S. homes using listing data. The study excluded neighborhoods with fewer than 10 sales in the previous 12 months and five states due to a lack of data: Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Virginia.

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