Although Silicon Valley still ranks among the country’s most expensive places to buy a home, prices in the region are leveling off, with Atherton losing its title as the priciest ZIP code in the U.S.
That’s according to Forbes’ latest annual rankings of America’s most expensive real estate markets, which places two Silicon Valley ZIP codes — one in Atherton and one in Los Altos Hills — among the country’s 10 priciest. The study includes both single-family homes and condominiums using a rolling average for the 90-day period ending Nov. 18. ZIP codes with fewer than 10 homes for sale were not included, which the report says eliminated some expensive Northern California enclaves.
Atherton’s 94027, which had ranked as the country’s most expensive ZIP code for the past three years, fell to the No. 3 spot, with a median list price of $7.2 million. With homes listing for $6.08 million, Los Altos Hills‘ 94022 is America’s eighth most expensive ZIP code, up three spots from last year’s list.
Prices have cooled significantly in Atherton, where homes listed for $10.56 million last year. Pacific Union Silicon Valley real estate professional Carol MacCorkle told Forbes that fewer homes at the highest end of the Atherton market — those priced in excess of $20 million — have sold this year when compared with last year. At the lower end of the market, properties in the affluent town are no longer the subject of bidding wars and are staying on the market longer.
Hillsborough‘s 94010 ZIP code ranks No. 16, with a median list price of $5.08 million. With homes listing for $4.78 million, 94062 in Woodside places No. 20. Last year, Forbes ranked both of those ZIP codes in the top 10.
Relaxing prices are evident in other parts of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, with local ZIP codes slipping down this year’s list from 2015. Palo Alto‘s 94301 dropped from No. 36 in 2015 to No. 48, with a median list price of $3.59 million. After finishing at No. 13 last year, Belvedere‘s 94920 fell to the No. 54 spot. ZIP codes in San Francisco, Tiburon, Los Altos, Kentfield, Saratoga, and Los Gatos also ranked lower on this year’s list than last year’s.
A recent analysis by Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp illustrates the slowdown that some Silicon Valley markets have seen, with Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Belmont, and Saratoga all seeing annual home price declines. At the same time, more affordable cities — including East Palo Alto — have seen home price appreciation in excess of 15 percent.