11 Cities Where the Average Home Price is Now $1M

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The scorching hot real estate market doesn’t appear to be cooling down anytime soon, as prices of homes around the country continue to soar.

The fervor largely stems from shifting consumer values and changing culture brought on by the pandemic, including the rise in remote work. Consequently, we’re seeing prices on homes at record highs not only in infamously pricey regions like NYC and San Francisco, but also in more low-profile regions like Idaho and Colorado.

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“Many people wanted to move out of the cities and into suburbs. Some people also wanted more space, especially for home offices,” said Omer Reiner, licensed real estate consultant. 

And then you’ve got the rock bottom interest rates driving Americans to purchase property. 

“The record low-interest rates we have seen over the last several months have been making home purchases more affordable than ever before,” said Bill Samuel, a residential real estate developer and an Illinois licensed real estate broker. “The lower interest rates now allow many buyers to afford a more expensive house than they would have been able to pre-pandemic. This is one of the biggest reasons we have seen a surge in housing prices and why many homes seem so expensive.”

Building Wealth

And that’s not all: there’s also rising construction costs inflation, and a limited supply of houses to meet the overwhelming demand. Now, in a number of areas (many in California) the average home goes for over a million bucks.

Here’s a look at these increasingly popular locales, exactly for how much homes are selling there, and how that’s changed over time, along with other information:

Pasadena, California

Median Home Price: $1,020,000

Year-Over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 13%

Price Per Square Foot: 677

In the lush suburban city of Pasadena, California, a $1,020,000 home in 2021 stays on the market for 35 days — the same as it did in 2020. But the price of a home there has bounced up by 13%. Home of the famous Rose Bowl and the annual Rose Parade, Pasadena boasts a population of 138,699 residents. 

Irvine, California

Median Home Price: $1,110,000

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 32.70% 

Price Per Square Foot: 602 

According to FBI data, Irvine, California is the safest city of its size for Part I violent crime in the country. Located in Orange County, Irvine has 307,670 residents, and the average home sticks on the market for just 25 days in 2021 — down from 43 days in 2020. 

Building Wealth

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Chevy Chase, Maryland

Median Home Price: $1,150,000

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: -4.20%

Price Per Square Foot: 447

A house in Chevy Chase, Maryland is, on average, more affordable in 2021 than it was in 2020, but it surely isn’t cheap. The stately city with a population of 10,176 residents sees a typical home go for over $1.1 million. That home stays on the market for just 19 days; in 2021 it lasted for 27. 

McClean, Virginia

Median Home Price: $1,220,000

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 24.60%

Price Per Square Foot: 348

A popular home base for diplomats, McClean, Virginia, has exploded in interest since the pandemic, thanks in part to its close proximity to Washington, D.C. In 2020, the average home sat on the market for 30 days — and slumped to 33 days in 2021, but prices have soared. The city is home to 50,773 residents. 

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San Jose, California

Median Home Price: $1,250,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020:12.10%

Price Per Square Foot: 789  

The historic mountain city of San Jose in California’s Bay Area touts a population of 1.01 million — the greatest on this list by a landslide. Long a hotspot, the average home was listed for 20 days until sale in 2020. In 2021, the average home stays on the market for just 12 days. 

Bellevue, Washington

Median Home Price: $1,260,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 11.80%

Price Per Square Foot: 641 

Just 10 miles from the booming city of Seattle, Bellevue, Washington, is the beloved home of many tech bigwigs. A home in this beautiful area will only stay on the market for 6 days — down from 7 days in 2020. It has a population of 151,854. 

Santa Cruz, California

Median Home Price: $1,300,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 32.90%

Price Per Square Foot: 874

Santa Cruz, California, is a charming coastal city not too far from San Francisco. An average home in the region has leaped in value over the past year, and is now only available for about 29 days after being listed — down from 33 days in 2020 — and 62,956 people live in its quaint but pricey bounds. 

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Fremont, California

Median Home Price: $1,350,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 16.90%

Price Per Square Foot: 848

Another increasingly attractive California locale, Fremont is home to 230,504 residents. Discovered to be a literal goldmine in the mid-1800s, Fremont now appeals to Silicon Valley dwellers who appreciate nature and a sense of community in a sprawling place

San Francisco, California

Median Home Price: $1,540,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 10.20%

Price Per Square Foot: 1,070 

Throughout the pandemic, many Silicon Valley employees left San Francisco in search of larger, more affordable areas, thanks to the rise in remote work options. But the city’s prices don’t reflect much of an exodus. Sporting a population of 873,965, the city has become even more expensive to live in since 2020. Homes are also available for shorter windows of time — 16 days in 2021 versus 28 days the year prior. 

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San Mateo, California

Median Home Price: $1,560,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 6%

Price Per Square Foot: 997 

Seated between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific, San Mateo is both woodsy and coastal — a beautiful combination that costs a fortune to live in. A home in this coveted city stays on the market for an average of just 11 days in 2021, down from 16 days in 2020. The region is home to 105,661 people. 

Sausalito, California

Median Home Price: $1,570,000 

Year-over-Year Price Change Since 2020: 25.10%

Price Per Square Foot: 995

Open to only top earners, Sausalito, California, is home to just 7,269 people — making it the smallest city on this list — and the most exclusive. Situated in Marin County, the coastal utopia of Sausalito has soared in popularity this past year. The average house sits on the market for  23 days — down from 39 days in 2020. 

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.

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