Top 10 U.S. States with the Most Expensive Home Prices

Can you guess the states of the U.S. that have the highest median home values?
According to zillow.com as of August 20, 2020
Based on the estimated value of all homes, whether they are for sale or not
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: August 20, 2020
First submittedSeptember 14, 2016
Times taken40,066
Rating4.27
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Value
State
$642,000
Hawaii
$578,000
California
$434,000
Massachusetts
$429,000
Washington
$409,000
Colorado
Value
State
$373,000
Oregon
$355,000
Utah
$342,000
New Jersey
$328,000
New York
$312,000
Maryland
+1
Level 82
Sep 14, 2016
Makes much sense.
+7
Level 58
Sep 14, 2016
As a homeowner in one of the ten, it's nice to know I'm above average. Unfortunately, if I sell, I'll have to move to a cheaper state.
+14
Level 51
Nov 30, 2016
Let me get this straight: "Fortunately, I live in an expensive house. Unfortunately, if I move to a different state I would have to sell my expensive house and buy a less expensive house."
+11
Level 63
Nov 30, 2016
Meaning that although they would get above market value for their existing house, it might not be enough to rebuy a house in the same state. A very likely occurrence for owner's of older properties.
+25
Level ∞
Nov 14, 2018
@CMJ's point is a good one. If you bought a house in Seattle in 1990 then you are rich on paper. But the only way to capture that wealth is to sell the house and move out of state. In the mean time, you get to enjoy paying $8,000 a year in property tax.
+2
Level 72
Dec 22, 2018
@Quizmaster: not necessarily. You can always reverse mortgage your expensive house and use the proceeds for other purposes without selling your home.
+2
Level 80
Aug 23, 2020
wuq is right and I think that's what the vast majority of homeowners in the USA tend to do, as the average American buys a house well above what they can really afford at the time, planning on earning more money later to pay for it, and in the meantime they are house poor unless they take out a mortgage. Which becomes a huge problem when the housing market collapses as it did in 2008 and suddenly your mortgage is worth more than whatever equity you have in your house. But... as long as you don't lose your job and housing prices keep moving up, it works out fine.

On the other hand, to my way of thinking, what's wrong with guapo's plan? That sounds like a great plan to me. If I was sitting on a million dollar home in Seattle or California or anywhere else I would sell it in a day, take the proceeds, move to Thailand or Costa Rica and live like a king the rest of my life.

+1
Level 55
Sep 14, 2016
shocked by the answer to 266,400
+3
Level 57
Nov 30, 2016
Why would you not just write Alaska!? :S
+14
Level 62
Nov 30, 2016
Avoiding spoiler?!
+1
Level 79
Nov 30, 2016
To keep the cheaters who read the comments from getting the answer.
+2
Level 39
Jul 17, 2018
or new york
+3
Level 70
Nov 30, 2016
Not really shocking if you visit. Everything is expensive there. Median incomes are also high in Alaska.
+1
Level 75
Nov 14, 2018
Even less shocking if you live there. There's a chronic housing shortage in northern communities, in both the USA and Canada. Can't speak to Greenland, but I suspect it's similar.
+1
Level 71
Sep 15, 2016
Surprised to see Alaska there. Is it because a lot of building materials need to be imported? Surely the land itself is quite cheap?
+1
Level 71
Sep 15, 2016
Probably, maybe also why Hawaii is up at the top. I wonder if it's also considered to be "exotic" to live in Hawaii, driving up the cost
+7
Level 54
Nov 30, 2016
Costs skyrocket when EVERYTHING must be imported.
+13
Level 63
Nov 30, 2016
Hawaii is at the top for many reasons: 1. It's a tropical paradise, 2. It's an island chain with limited land available for building houses and the land itself is extremely expensive, 3. Everything has to be imported and from a great distance, 4. Houses might need to be built to code to withstand earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis and volcanoes. The more housing codes you have, the more expensive the final product is.
+2
Level 74
Nov 30, 2016
Land in Alaska can cost a lot, as the vast majority is federal, state, or native lands.
+2
Level 70
Nov 30, 2016
it's not a shortage of land, though. Even if you buy land, it is expensive to hire the labor to build something. Don't forget you might also have to build a road and pay for electric poles if you want to be on the grid.
+1
Level 75
Nov 14, 2018
jamed is correct. It's not about the land, it's about materials and labour, and thinking about hookups if you're not in town. Not to mention that the terrain and weather means you can't build all year round and permafrost is a logistical consideration.
+3
Level 57
Oct 25, 2016
+1
Level 71
Nov 21, 2016
All of these are bordered by water, except CO. So the next best thing after the beach is epic mountains.

...makes sense. Except i'd choose mountains over the beach any day.

+4
Level 32
Nov 30, 2016
That's why Washington is awesome, it has mountains and beaches!!
+2
Level 72
Jan 2, 2017
But Colorado has sunshine all year round where Washington has rain, rain, and more rain ;-)
+1
Level 75
Nov 14, 2018
Yeah but ya don't have to shovel the snow...
+2
Level 54
Nov 30, 2016
Maybe I've watched too many episodes of House Hunters....
+3
Level 54
Nov 30, 2016
Mostly blue states... just saying. Who are the "rich fat-cats" now?
+2
Level 50
Nov 30, 2016
Blue states with the bluest parts being the places with the highest land costs eg NYC, San Francisco, Boston. Thinking people have noticed this trend. Since having families tends to induce some people to become more conservative the idea is that higher land prices = delayed family formation = more liberal population, though this theory has not been lab tested, for obvious reasons
+4
Level 72
Dec 1, 2016
No it's not stupid. Liberal states create more land use restrictions, reducing housing supply, driving costs up. Obviously the choice they've made, and that's their choice to make. But it's not stupid to understand it.
+1
Level 65
Aug 23, 2020
Land use restrictions have very little to do with it. I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Chicago, where a two-bedroom condo costs around $550,000. It has nothing to do with land use restrictions. In fact, there are new high-rise condos popping up on every corner. The high price is a result of basic supply-and-demand. I live in a beautiful neighborhood, close to downtown, with parks every block and Lake Michigan ten minutes' walk away. So a lot of people want to live here. So the cost goes way up. It's the same in the New York City suburb where I grew up. There just isn't as much land to develop because it's so densely populated, and people want to be near New York City and in a nice suburb. I don't think land use restrictions matter.
+7
Level 72
Jan 2, 2017
Or, you could argue (also with only correlation behind you and not causality, like most of the rest of these given "reasons") that the blue states are the more expensive states because liberals are more educated and thus can afford to live in the most costly places. See what you can do with statistics? Then again, did anyone stop to notice that the more expensive states are kinda just simply the most desirable ones? They all have natural beauty and/or a great geographical location working for them.
+5
Level 35
Apr 20, 2018
Natural beauty is prevalent throughout the entirety of the USA, not just cities!? I agree with some points made here (cities are more expensive, blue states have better geographical location) but it definitely has something to do with blue states' tendencies to create legislation that has the effect of raising house prices (environmental regulations, higher housing standards, higher closing costs, land use regulations, etc.) It has nothing to do with 'liberals are more educated' -stop being so stuck-up. Liberalism certainly is not a measure of intelligence.
+1
Level 76
Jul 17, 2019
Liberal States would also tend to have better education, services, etc... along with higher property taxes to provide those items. There is a quiz on highest taxes per state that would make a good comparison.
+2
Level 72
Aug 23, 2020
Uh, lmiller, did you happen to notice the whole part about, “See what you can do with statistics?” Meaning: Just as various and sundry “conclusions” can be drawn from any set of given data, so can any of us schmucks here on JetPunk take quiz results and postulate an air-tight(!) theory as to why they are that way. It has nothing to do with being stuck up, but thanks for both proving my point as well as being the best r/woooosh candidate in this entire thread.
+1
Level 47
Aug 23, 2020
Wait, so you were making a joke out of your argument that seemed to be thought out in a serious way? or do you just misunderstand r/woooosh. I thought you made 2 good points in your argument, one about how these are all theories, and another about how these places may be blue, but they're also places of great beauty.
+1
Level 53
Mar 17, 2019
Mostly places with jobs that pay the most. So?
+1
Level 80
Nov 30, 2016
I once went to San Diego and was explaining to a local couple that it's not uncommon to find smaller houses in my hometown of Des Moines for around $50,000. They would not believe me until I pulled up actual listings. Now I see why that was so shocking.
+1
Level 60
Nov 30, 2016
Never remember Hawaii and Alaska for any of these. Always just darting around the lower 48 trying ever more desperate guesses - "maybe houses are really expensive in Alabama!" and then there they are, Hawaii and Alaska.
+2
Level 67
Dec 1, 2016
Surprised Connecticut isn't on the list. Lots of rich NYCers reside there.
+1
Level 72
Jan 2, 2017
I too was surprised about the absence of Connecticut – and also Virginia, for those same reasons you gave. (Aside from the entirety of Northern Virginia being a DC-commuter bedroom community, most of the top five counties with the highest average home prices are there.) But then I remembered that both CT and VA still have a LOT of very rural areas, and like, Mennonites and stuff. ;-D
+1
Level 62
Dec 2, 2016
The median home value in Seattle is $611,500. Seattle home values have gone up 14.4% over the past year, per Zillow.

We bought our place 25 years ago, before the increase. No fun thinking about moving in retirement.

+1
Level 50
Nov 12, 2018
I am not surprised by this - but reminds me once again, how much cheaper houses are in the USA compared to UK. I live in a pretty average UK house - and it is probably worth around $500,000.
+2
Level ∞
Nov 14, 2018
Looking at the data, you could probably explain most of this by looking at growth in a state's population. New construction is expensive, and there aren't enough old houses in fast-growing states to satisfy demand.
+1
Level 77
Nov 14, 2018
So this data is just the average price of everything from studios to mansions?
+1
Level 89
Nov 15, 2018
Boggles my mind how low some of these are. My tiny condo is more than most of these, makes me sad.
+1
Level 16
Dec 22, 2018
Not american, but I somehow managed to get 8, do not know how?
+1
Level 68
Dec 22, 2018
One theory: A quick typist can enter an awful lot of states at random in the time allotted. I suppose there is no way to factor in a penalty for incorrect answers.
+1
Level 68
Dec 22, 2018
Perhaps a maximum number of "tries".
+1
Level 72
Dec 22, 2018
As a Realtor, I'd love know where you got your incorrect statistics - ah, just noticed it says Zillow. I didn't bother to even try when the two states with the highest housing costs did not appear. Zillow's data is notoriously wrong. Try Realtor.com or a government site. Zillow's "zestimates" on houses not currently for sale or not sold recently are notoriously high and incorrect. It even overpriced the owner of Zillow's own home by almost $2 million dollars. The only accurate measure of value of home is comparisons to homes sold recently (banks calculate between 90 to 180 days past). The numbers you have are unsupportable.
+6
Level ∞
Dec 22, 2018
Post your sources. There is no way that two states not on this list have higher average house prices than California or Hawaii. Zillow isn't always correct, but it's good enough on average.
+4
Level ∞
Dec 22, 2018
Maybe you are thinking about cost/square foot, or about land prices. That would be different and obviously New York would be higher.
+1
Level 76
Dec 24, 2018
I assume it is based on sale prices that Zillow has compiled (a statistic they track), rather then "Zestimates." So these numbers should be fairly accurate.
+1
Level 55
Dec 24, 2018
I find it hard to believe Virginia isn't in the top ten. Homes here in Northern Virginia are SO expensive. I guess the rest of the state balance the prices.
+1
Level 80
Dec 26, 2018
The suburbia/redneck frontier keeps getting pushed further west and further south (used to be Centreville and Woodbridge, now it's around Warrenton and Fredericksburg) but get past that and it gets pretty cheap. That's most of the state.
+2
Level 53
Mar 17, 2019
Surprised Connecticut and Rhode Island aren't here.
+1
Level 45
Jul 17, 2019
7.
+1
Level 30
Jul 17, 2019
Small spelling request: Please accept Massechussetts for Massachusetts.
+1
Level 47
Aug 23, 2020
Massechusetts is accepted, it's the double ss that messes it up.
+3
Level 60
Aug 20, 2020
American houses are dirt cheap compared to many other countries.
+1
Level 72
Aug 21, 2020
Maybe compared to our income, sure, but both SF and NYC are among the most expensive places to live in the world in terms of housing costs. Places like Singapore can feel more expensive since the housing costs almost as much but the average salary is like a third that of SF/NYC.
+3
Level 83
Aug 21, 2020
Utah??
+2
Level 80
Aug 23, 2020
Was surprised to see them above Connecticut
+2
Level 82
Aug 23, 2020
Large family size often equals a larger house. I don't think Utah would be on this list if you were comparing, say, the average price of a three bedroom, two bathroom house.
+2
Level 46
Aug 23, 2020
even without large families Utah is crazy expensive!! Scenery and weather is what you're paying for more than for the size of the home.
+1
Level 49
Aug 23, 2020
My house in NJ is one of the worst on the street. Yet it is worth 400,000 ):
+2
Level 55
Aug 23, 2020
i cant right for the life of me the word "Massachussets"
+1
Level 47
Aug 23, 2020
Write*, and Massachusetts*. Don't worry, you'll get to a point where it's easy to do that
+1
Level 36
Aug 25, 2020
i swear i wrote oregon but it didn't go through 👁💧👄💧👁
+1
Level 41
Aug 26, 2020
I'm sure a lot of people will be surprised with Utah at 7. But it has the highest rate of population growth in the nation, highest median home size, land availability near urban centers is increasingly scarce due to growth and geography, plus it's gorgeous scenery. Won't be surprised if it breaks the top 5 soon.
+1
Level 48
Aug 26, 2020
I need to get out of Jersey...