The 15 Most Expensive Housing Markets in the US: Cities with the Highest Average Home Prices

The most expensive housing markets in the U.S. have an average home price almost three times the national average.

a photo of the Manhattan skyline with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground
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Home prices may have peaked in the summer of 2022, but the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. are still shockingly dear. 

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index (opens in new tab) is down 5.1% since June of last year. The 20-city index, which measures only the very largest metro housing markets, is off nearly 7% over the same time frame. 

Both indexes are still up about 11% over the past three years, however, and experts see mounting evidence that the recent downturn in home prices may already be coming to an end.

"March's further increase in the median price of existing homes is another indication that the housing market stabilized during the first quarter," notes Eugenio Alemán (opens in new tab), chief economist at Raymond James (opens in new tab).

The bottom line is that despite some recent relief, the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. remain exceedingly costly by historical standards. Neither can they be expected to get much cheaper anytime soon. 

To determine what average home prices look like on the ground in the nation's most expensive housing markets, we turned to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (opens in new tab) (C2ER). Their cost of living index measures prices in 265 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 home prices are what really stand out. As of the end of 2022, the average price of a home in the U.S. came to $452,510, according to C2ER. That's up from $336,448 just five years ago – or an increase of nearly 35%.

Most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 most expensive housing markets in the U.S. – and the premiums home prices command to the national average. (Spoiler alert: The 15 U.S. cities with the highest average home prices have an average home price of $1.2 million, or 2.7 times the national average.)

So just how costly do the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. 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.

Source: C2ER's Cost of Living Index (opens in new tab), 2022 Annual Average Data, published January 2023. Index data is based on average prices of goods and services collected during the first three quarters of 2022, with index values based on the new weights for 2023. Population data, household incomes, home values, poverty rates and other demographic information are from the U.S. Census Bureau (opens in new tab).

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.