Finding Expensive Places to Live
To find the priciest enclaves, PropertyShark—a real estate data website—analyzed home sales across the country in 2017 to determine the most expensive ZIP codes. Cities in California and New York dominated the top spots on America’s most expensive ZIP codes rankings by PropertyShark.
Just across the river from some of New York’s priciest ZIP codes lies the city of Alpine, New Jersey—ZIP code 07620. Alpine ranked 50th in the country and first in the Garden State. Here, the median home price is $1.8 million. At that price, buyers can expect spacious homes with six-plus bedrooms and baths, as well as media rooms, several fireplaces, multi-car garages, and outdoor pools.
What Homes Cost in Alpine
In Alpine, $1.8 million is the median home sale price, but you could easily spend much more. One of the pricier homes in the Alpine market today is listed at $25 million. The home is 25,000 square feet and sits on a two-acre gated lot. It has seven bedrooms and 12 baths, as well as a pool house, gazebo, and resistance current pool.
With a median home price around $1.8 million—and homes on the market well above that—you’d expect to find some ultra-wealthy residents. Indeed, the median household income here is nearly $190,000, and some of the town’s notable residents (who were born in Alpine, reside there now or have resided there—include billionaire hedge fund manager Larry Robbins, comedian and actor Tracy Morgan, and rap artist and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs.
New Jersey's Priciest ZIP Codes
In addition to Alpine, New Jersey is well represented among PropertyShark’s list of the most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S. for 2017. Here are the state’s top 25.
|The 25 Most Expensive ZIP Codes in New Jersey|
|Rank||Zip Code||City||Median Home Price||Median Household Income|
|2||07078||Short Hills||$1.42 million||$200,001|
|3||08247||Stone Harbor||$1.3 million||$71,063|
|6||07632||Englewood Cliffs||$1.08 million||$151,410|
|7||07976||New Vernon||$1.06 million||$200,001|
|14||07717||Avon By The Sea||$847,500||$78,720|
|24||07423||Ho Ho Kus||$751,000||$179,017|
1. 07620 (Alpine)
Alpine is a borough in Bergen County, N.J. It is located 15 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. Alpine is the easternmost community in the state of New Jersey. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2012 Alpine was America’s most expensive ZIP code with a median home price of $4.25 million. In 2009, Forbes ranked Alpine first, along with Greenwich, Conn., with a median home price of $4.14 million. Alpine was tied with Greenwich for first in both 2006 and 2007 on the ABC News list of most expensive ZIP codes, with a median home sale price of $3.4 million.
2. 07078 (Short Hills)
Short Hills is a community located within Millburn Township, in Essex County, N.J. It is a popular commuter town for residents who work in New York City, N.Y., and a notably affluent community. In February 2012 the median listing price of its homes was $1.75 million, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Zillow. In 2014, Time magazine named Short Hills the “Richest Town in America.” Initially, the area that would become Short Hills was part of Springfield Township, Union County, N.J.
3. 08247 (Stone Harbor)
Stone Harbor is a borough in Cape May County, N.J. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. It occupies the southern portion of Seven Mile Island together with its northern neighbor Avalon. It has a thriving commercial center and is known for the resort community for visitors enjoying beaches, as it attracts a large number of vacationers from the Mid-Atlantic region and Quebec. The New York Times describes Stone Harbor as a place of "Gleaming McMansions and Elegant Shops" with an average single-family home selling for $2.5 million in 2008. In 2014, Forbes Magazine ranked Stone Harbor as no. 191 on its list of the most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S.
4. 07723 (Deal)
Deal—a borough in Monmouth County, N.J.—is named after English carpenter Kent Deal. Many European immigrants settled in the town during the mid-1660s. Deal boasts a significant population of Orthodox Sephardic Jews, mainly Syrian extraction. Over sixteen percent of Deal Residents identified as being a Syrian heritage per the 2000 Census, which is the greatest percentage of Syrian Americans in any municipality in the country. Deal was ranked in 2007 by Forbes Magazine as the 13th most expensive ZIP Code in the U.S., with a median sale price of $1,825,000.
5. 08202 (Avalon)
Avalon is a borough in Cape May County, N.J. on Seven Mile Island. The community is one of the most wealthy communities along the Jersey Shore and is home to some of the most expensive real estate on the East Coast. In 2007, Forbes listed Avalon as the 65th most expensive ZIP Code in the U.S. Washingtonian even named “Avalon the Chicest Beach“ in the mid-Atlantic, the place to see women in diamonds and designer swimwear. It was ranked the seventh-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium
6. 07632 (Englewood Cliffs)
Englewood Cliffs is a borough in Bergen County, N.J.The borough's formation dates back to an election for Road Commissioner in Road District 1 between William Outis Allison and Clinton Blake, a future mayor of Englewood. Blake won the vote, but Allison challenged the result, arguing that women had been improperly allowed to vote. The vote was overturned, but Englewood officials would not seat Allison, which ultimately led to his successful efforts in 1895 to have Road District 1 secede to form the Borough of Englewood Cliffs, with Allison serving as the new municipality's first mayor.
7. 07976 (New Vernon)
New Vernon is an unincorporated community located within Harding Township in Morris County, N.J. The community is within the boundaries of Harding Township along with a portion of Green Village. It is the location of the governmental offices for Harding Township.
8. 08738 (Mantoloking)
Mantoloking is a borough in Ocean County, N.J. Mantoloking was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on Apr. 10, 1911, from portions of Brick Township. As of the 2000 Census, Mantoloking was the wealthiest community in the state of New Jersey with a per capita money income of $114,017 as of 1999, an increase of 29.8% from the $87,830 recorded in 1989. In the Forbes Magazine 2012 rankings of "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", the borough was ranked 139th, with a median price of $1,403,349.
9. 07417 (Franklin Lakes)
Franklin Lakes is a borough in Bergen County, N.J. It was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 11, 1922, from portions of Franklin Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 11, 1922. The borough was named for William Franklin, the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, a steadfast Loyalist who served as the last colonial Governor of N.J. In 2010, "Forbes.com" listed Franklin Lakes as 146th in its listing of "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", with a median home price of $1.31 million.
10. 07021 (Essex Fells)
Essex Fells is a borough in Essex County, N.J. It was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 31, 1902, from portions of Caldwell Township (now Fairfield Township). New Jersey Family magazine ranked Essex Fells as the best town for families in its 2016 rankings of "New Jersey's Best Towns for Families." New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Essex Fells as its 10th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey. Niche.com ranked Essex Fells as the seventh-best place to live in its 2019 rankings of the "Best Places to Live" in New Jersey.
11. 07760 (Rumson)
Rumson is a borough of Monmouth County, N.J., being part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The town’s population came in at 7,122 per the 2010 census. Rumson is known for its many sprawling 19th-century estates along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers. The historic Rumson Road serves as one of Rumson's main thoroughfares. Rumson was formerly a colony for wealthy New York City bankers and now dominated by upscale suburbs. The Tredwell House, named after a family that summered there for almost 100 years, is one of the town’s oldest homes.
12. 07931 (Far Hills)
Far Hills is a borough of Somerset County, N.J. The town’s population came in at a mere 919, as of the 2010 Census. The town has a 10-acre minimum zoning law, which means this small village created by a wealthy New York businessman in the 1800s is surrounded by large private properties and homes. Around the same time, rail services to the city started and people seeking respite from the heat and thrill of urban life traveled to nearby Bernardsville.
13. 07458 (Saddle River)
Saddle River is a borough in Bergen County, N.J. As of the 2010 Census, the population came to 3,152. It is one of the wealthiest small municipalities in the U.S as it was ranked the richest suburb nation based on 1989 per capita income. The borough is named after the Saddle River, which flows through the borough and is a tributary of the Passaic River, which in turn was named for a stream and valley in Saddell, Argyll, Scotland.
14. 07717 (Avon-by-the-Sea)
Avon-by-the-Sea is a borough in Monmouth County, N.J. The population reached 1,901 counted in the 2010 United States Census, there was a slight decline of 343 and climbed to 2,165 counted in the 1990 Census. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by two other bodies of water. The south side of Avon is located on the Shark River and the north end of Avon rests on Sylvan Lake.The borough was named for Avon, England, and incorporated by the act of N.J. Legislature in the 1900s from portions of Neptune City.
15. 08750 (Sea Girt)
Sea Girt is a borough in Monmouth County N.J. It was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 29, 1917, from segments of Wall Township. The borough was named for the estate of Comm. Robert F. Stockton, who had purchased a property in the area in 1853. According to Forbes Magazine 2012 rankings of “America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes," the borough was ranked 197th, with a median price of $1.14 million.
16. 07901 (Summit)
Summit is a city in Union County, N.J. According to the 2000 Census, Summit is the 26th-highest per capita income and is ranked the 72nd richest town in America as of 2018. Manhattan’s financial elite prefers living in Summit for the large estate, and excellent schools. NJ Transit rail link to Manhattan’s financial district. The city is prominent with traders, investment bankers, and money managers, nearly 20% of Summits residents working in finance and real estate.
17. 07627 (Demarest)
Demarest is a borough in Bergen County, N.J, which is located in the northeastern corner. It is a gateway region as it is a part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Demarest was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1903, from sectors of Harrington Township and Palisades. The Borough was named for the Demarest family along with the Demarest Train Station. It had been named after Ralph S. Demarest, the Director of the Northern Railroad of New Jersey. The Station represented the area in both N.J. General Assembly and N.J. Senate in the mid-19th Century.
18. 07928 (Chatham)
Chatham Township is a township located in Morris County, N.J. The Settlement of Chatham was established in 1710 as John Day’s Bridge. When N.J. was an English Province in 1773, the Chatham name was to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham who was a British supporter of the Colonial cause. The village was within Morris Township and served as an active community in the Revolutionary War. As of August 19th, 1892, Chatham seceded from the new township that had taken its name and adopted the village form of government established in the U.S. for the new state of N.J. Shortly thereafter, Chatham adopted the borough form of government on March 1, 1897.
19. 07711 (Allenhurst)
Allenhurst is a borough in Monmouth County, N.J. It was incorporated as a borough by N.J. Legislature on April 26th, 1897, from portions of Ocean Township. Allenhurst was named after resident Abner Allen. The borough sits center of a string of wealthy Communities between Long Branch and Asbury Park along with many other historic homes from the late 19th and early 20th century. According to the Forbes Magazine list of “Most Expensive ZIP Codes," Allenhurst ranked 131st on the list in 2006. As of 2012 rankings, the borough was 448th, with a median home price of $665,043.
20. 07046 (Mountain Lakes)
Mountain Lakes is a borough in Morris County, N.J, also a suburb of New York City. Mountain Lakes was incorporated as a borough by an act of the N.J Legislature on March 3, 1924, as if was named after a pair of lakes in the area. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Mountain Lakes as the 26th best place to live according to the “New Jersey’s Top Towns 2011-2012.” Neighborhoodscout reports indicate Mountain Lakes is one of N.J.'s most highly educated municipalities with 85.4% adults acquiring a four-year undergraduate or graduate degree, which quadruples the national average of 21.8%
21. 07041 (Millburn)
Milburn is a suburban township in Essex County, N.J. The township’s name is derived from the burn (Scottish for a stream) that powered mills in the area. Earlier known variously as Milltown, Millville, Rum Brook, and Vauxhall, the name “Millburn” was adopted before the township was founded. According to New Jersey Monthly Magazine, Millburn ranked as the 53rd best place to live in 2008. Millburn had the highest annual property tax bills in the U.S. state of N.J. in 2009 at $19,097, compared to the statewide average of $7,300 that year, which was the highest in the U.S.
22. 08403 (Longport)
Longport is a borough in Atlantic County, N.J., and was incorporated as a borough by an act of the N.J Legislature on March 7, 1898, from portions of Egg Harbor Township. Located on the Atlantic Ocean shore of Absecon Island. The absentee owner James Long purchased a parcel in 1857 that grew over the years as sand accumulated and additional property was purchased. The community was named Longport in honor of Long, Acquired by M. Simpson McCullough in 1882. In 2014, residents of Seaview Harbor, located across Beach Thorofare, submitted a petition to join neighboring Longport, citing lack of access to the rest of Egg Harbor Township and high taxes. In November 2016, the Township Committee voted to deny the secession plan.
23. 07670 (Tenafly)
Tenafly is a borough in Bergen County, N.J. It is a suburb of New York City. The name “Tenafly” is derived from the early-modern Dutch phrase “Tiene Vly” or “Ten Swamps,” which was given by Dutch settlers in 1688, as they were the first European settlers in Tenafly. The Borough was incorporated on January 24, 1894, by an act of N.J. Legislature from sections of the now-defunct Palisades Township based on the outturn of a referendum held the previous day. New Jersey Monthly Magazine “Best Places To Live in New Jersey," Tenafly ranked 7th as of 2013.
24. 07423 (Ho-Ho-Kus)
Ho-Ho-Kus is a borough in Bergen County, N.J. It is the home of a number of historical landmarks, including the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and The Hermitage. The meaning of the name Ho-Ho-Kus remains debated. From the official history on the borough's website, the most likely origin is a contraction of the Delaware Indian term "Mah-Ho-Ho-Kus" (or "Mehokhokus"), meaning "the red cedar. According to New Jersey Monthly Magazine Ho-Ho-Kus was ranked the best place to live in N.J. in 2011. While the borough is known for its wealth, it also has an exceptionally low quality of the school system. All while New York City and other major commercial destinations are in its proximity.
25. 07704 (Fair Haven)
Fair Haven is a borough in Monmouth County, N.J, and is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The borough runs along the Navesink River and is located on the Rumson Peninsula. It is bordered by Red Bank and Little Silver to the West. Fair Haven was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 28, 1912, from portions of Shrewsbury Township, subject to the results of a referendum held on April 23, 1912. Portions of the borough were exchanged with Red Bank on June 17, 1957. By the mid-19th century, steamboats stopped at "Chandler's Dock" on a route between Red Bank and New York City, bringing visitors to the area and local oysters to the city.
The Bottom Line
Some of New Jersey’s most expensive ZIP codes, including Alpine, are considered suburbs of New York City, but you’ll typically get a lot more house if you stay on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. Plus, at $1 million-plus in any of these expensive suburbs, you’re likely to find homes with privacy, well-designed landscaping and relaxing outdoor spaces that will allow you to take a break from the city.