Even amenities and privacy don’t make these communities immune to the economy
Of all the states and all the regions in the country, would your first guess for the “most expensive zip code” be an area in New Jersey? Mine wasn’t. But after checking out Forbes’ 2009 report on the most expensive zip codes in the country, it seems that 07620 – Alpine, NJ – is the winner. Adjacent to Manhattan, this small (2,400 residents) community is on the Hudson and features some celebrity homeowners like Sean Combs and Stevie Wonder. Using Forbes interactive maps, you can see that three areas really dominate the most expensive zip codes – California, New York and New Jersey.
With a median home cost of four million dollars, this neighborhood clearly boasts some of the largest and most luxurious homes around. According to the residents, they’re willing to pay for it because of the privacy, the lack of commercialism and the fact that more than 50 percent of the land is reserved for parks.
Alpine and others like it weren’t immune to the economic issues of 2009, though. Alpine’s median home prices fell 23% over the past year, as did Atherton, CA, Forbes second place finisher. Unlike less expensive neighborhoods, the high-priced zip codes median home price declines aren’t fueled by foreclosures, according to Forbes. Simply, they are a result of gun-shy buyers who are waiting for the luxury market to hit rock bottom.
Pockets here and there fared well, like Duarte, California – zip code 91008. Duarte showed some marginal increase. A place attractive to wealthy retirees for its sense of community and beauty, Duarte is near Palo Alto and bordered to the north by the San Gabriel mountains.
What makes some neighborhoods or towns so much more desirable than others? Available amenities, proximity to culture, privacy and green space seem to rise to the top. I guess if you’re living in one of those zip codes already, the more typical items like good schools and a sense of community are already a given.
Here are the top 10 zip codes, their median home price and the median price change
1. 07620 Alpine, N.J. $4,139,041 -23%
2. 94027 Atherton, Calif. $3,849,133 -26%
3. 10014 New York, N.Y. $3,521,514 -24%
4. 91008 Duarte, Calif. $3,444,773 18%
5. 90210 Beverly Hills, Calif. $3,367,167 -5%
6. 92067 Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. $3,362,493 -12%
7. 93108 Santa Barbara, Calif. $3,284,652 -9%
8. 94024 Los Altos Hills, Calif. $3,277,500 4%
9. 10065 New York, N.Y. $3,176,534 -10%
10. 07926 Brookside, N.J. $3,121,115 17%