California is home to some of the most expensive ZIP codes in the country, according to the most recent America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes rankings from business magazine Forbes.

To find the priciest enclaves,housing market data provider Altos Research analyzed listing prices for single-family homes and condos in 29,500 ZIP codes across the U.S. (covering 95% of the population) and calculated a median, rolling average for a 90-day period ending Oct. 9, 2015. The 500 most expensive ZIP codes were included in the list.

Atherton Leads the Pack

The Golden State had 12 of the top 25 most expensive ZIP codes on the list (including four of those in the top 10), led by Atherton (ZIP code 94027), where the median home price is nearly $10.6 million and where undeveloped land can sell for upward of $7 or $8 million an acre. While you might expect homes in that price range to sit on the market for some time – after all, there’s a relatively small pool of potential buyers at that price – homes in Atherton typically sell in fewer than four months.

Of course, $10.6 is just the median home price in Atherton, you'll find houses that go for much more. The priciest home on the market today (with a public listing) is a 16,000+ square foot, six bedroom/six-and-a-half bath contemporary Italian villa complete with Italian marble, solid walnut flooring, a 3,000-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar and an elevated spa with infinity edge. The listing price: $42,800,000. In case you're wondering, that would be a monthly mortgage payment of nearly $200,000.

With a median home price around $10 million, you’d expect to find some ultra-wealthy residents. Indeed, the median household income for Atherton is greater than $250,000 – the highest of any ZIP code in the U.S. – according to data from the 2010 United States Census. Atherton is home to a number of finance and tech A-listers, including Charles Schwab (founder/CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation), HP CEO Meg Whitman, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, venture capitalist Tim Draper, and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman and former CEO of Google.

California’s Top 10

In addition to Atherton, California is well represented on the Forbes list. Here are California’s 10 most expensive ZIPs (from highest to lowest) along with the towns in which you will find them, the median home price, average number of days on the market (according to the Forbes list). The median household income is from Esri (the Environmental Systems Research Institute), a company that provides maps, data and apps through geographic information systems).

1. 94027 – ATHERTON

Median Price: $10,564,038

Average Days on Market: 106

Median Household Income: $200K


2. 94062 – WOODSIDE

Median Price: $5,533,534

Average Days on Market: 162

Median Household Income: $125K


3. 91302 – HIDDEN HILLS

Median Price: $5,074,231

Average Days on Market: 148

Median Household Income: $137K



Median Price: $4,951,458

Average Days on Market: 88

Median Household Income: $109K


5. 94022 – LOS ALTOS HILLS

Median Price: $4,927,038

Average Days on Market: 120

Median Household Income: $185K


6. 94920 – BELVEDERE

Median Price: $4,626,731

Average Days on Market: 175

Median Household Income: $133K


7. 90210 – BEVERLY HILLS

Median Price: $4,553,181

Average Days on Market: 128

Median Household Income: $136K


8. 90402 – SANTA MONICA

Median Price: $4,228,951

Average Days on Market: 77

Median Household Income: $135K


9. 94957 – ROSS

Median Price: $4,178,846

Average Days on Market: 199

Median Household Income: $200K


10. 94123 – SAN FRANCISCO

Median Price: $4,124,485

Average Days on Market: 48

Median Household Income: $114K

The Bottom Line

Two New York City area ZIP codes – 11962 (in the Hamptons) and 10012 (Manhattan's Greenwich Village and SoHo)  – took  the second and third spots on the America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes list (see The 10 Most Expensive ZIP Codes in New York State) . But compared to the Big Apple, California buyers can get a lot more house for their money.

In Manhattan, buyers in high price ranges might be happy to have exposed brick and washer-dryer hookups – and,of course, a view. (For more, see The 6 Most Expensive Apartments in New York City.) In Southern California, however, a house that costs upward of $10 million will more than likely have a pool, gym, wine cellar and screening room – not to mention a very large footprint and space to enjoy the outdoors.

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