California dominates the list this year. The Silicon Valley property market continues to benefit from a burgeoning tech industry that’s increased housing demand. In addition to Atherton, Northern California ZIPs that rank highly include Hillsborough 94010 (No. 4); Los Altos Hills (No. 18) and Los Altos (No. 24), which share the ZIP code 94022; Woodside 94062 (No. 31); and Palo Alto 94301 (No. 36).
The celebrity-studded Los Angeles-area figures highly on the list as well. A bevy of $50 million and higher homes landed Beverly Hills 90210 in the fifth spot, Malibu 90265 was 12th, and the Bel Air section of Los Angeles 90077 ranked 19th.
David Kramer, a Hilton & Hyland agent specializing in Beverly Hills and Bel Air properties who represented Petra Ecclestone in her purchase of the $85 million Spelling Manor, says he is seeing more $10 million and higher sales this year than he did during the heights of the market in 2005-06. The listing prices in these ZIP codes reflect that, pushing their rankings up from last year.
The tony ski towns of Colorado are also showing strength. Despite condo prices that start as low as $105,000, Aspen’s ritziest ZIP code, 81611 (No. 20), Snowmass 81654 (No. 13) and Snowmass Village 81615 (No. 59) rank highly thanks to a bevy of estates listed for between $20 million and $40 million.
Telluride 81435 debuts on the list at No. 28 thanks to posh pads and ranches belonging to the likes of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and former Goldman Sachs CEO and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.
Simonsen says that after the bubble burst, asking prices didn’t fall much in these posh Colorado ZIPs but days on the market increased, with homes languishing for an average of about a year before being sold.
A surprise on this year’s list is New York City. Manhattan ZIP codes have long featured on our annual list, but this year the wealthy Upper East Side, Upper West Side and West Village were surpassed by two trendy downtown neighborhoods: SoHo 10012 at No. 6, followed by TriBeCa 10013 at No. 7.
The SoHo and TriBeCa housing markets don’t have as much inventory as some other areas of Manhattan, says Gary Malin, president of the New York City-based realty firm Citi Habitats. “They are always highly sought after because of the wide-open loft spaces with high ceilings … and because there’s not a tremendous density of housing there and always a lot of demand, you’re able to get significant prices.” He notes it’s a very similar dynamic in the West Village 10014, which ranked 35th.
The ZIP codes of Lower Manhattan, a neighborhood transformed since the destruction of the World Trade Center, debut in the top 500 this year as well thanks to new luxury condos that peddle outrageous amenities.