The Most Expensive U.S. Counties to Buy a Home

The Most Expensive U.S. Counties to Buy a Home

September 1, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an unprecedented surge in demand for homes in the United States. Inventory is at a record low, as is the average time homes are on the market. Meanwhile, both home prices and the share of homes selling above asking price have reached record highs. 

Of course, in some parts of the country, exorbitant home prices are nothing new. Even before the pandemic, there were counties across the country where most homes had an estimated value of about half a million dollars and higher. Meanwhile, the median home value nationwide is $217,500. 

Using data on median home value from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most expensive counties to buy a home in the United States. Our analysis includes county and county equivalents, such as independent cities. Counties with less than 1,000 housing units were not considered. Most of the counties on this list are in the Western United States, including 18 in California alone. 

Home values in a given area are often a reflection of what residents can afford. And not surprisingly, with only one exception, the median annual household income exceeds the $62,843 national median in every county on this list. Here is a look at the best counties to live in

Still, despite the higher incomes, home values in the counties on this list are high enough that buyers are more likely than average to have to rely on a mortgage. In most counties on this list, the share of homeowners who are financing with a mortgage is above the 62.7% share of homeowners with a mortgage nationwide. High home prices also appear to make homeownership prohibitively expensive for many living in these counties, as most counties on this list have a lower homeownership rate than the 64.0% rate nationwide. Here is a look at the counties where the most people have debt in collections.

Click here to see the most expensive U.S. counties to buy a home.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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