For most Americans, the idea of paying $1 million or more for a house may seem excessive. That’s especially true when they consider that, nationally, the median value of an owner-occupied home is less than a quarter of that number. As the housing market heats up, more and more million-dollar homes are likely to come onto the market. 

To see where million-dollar homes are most prevalent, LendingTree, the nation’s largest online loan marketplace, looked at the share of million-dollar homes in the nation’s 50 largest metros. Ultimately, our study shows that while million-dollar homes are uncommon throughout most of the country, they comprise a significant share of homes in some metros. Furthermore, our study also highlights the notable spread in home prices across the nation’s 50 largest metros.

Key findings

  • Though they can make up a substantial amount of the total housing stock in some areas, million-dollar homes are relatively uncommon throughout most of the country. Only 5.86% of the owner-occupied homes in the nation’s 50 largest metros are valued at $1 million or more. 

  • How expensive a housing market is can vary wildly from metro to metro. For example, 56.46% of homes are valued at $1 million or more in San Jose, Calif., the metro with the largest share of million-dollar homes. In Cincinnati, which has the smallest share of million-dollar homes, that figure is just 0.66%. San Jose’s median home value is $1,091,100, a staggering $917,600 higher than the median home value in Cincinnati. 

  • Of the top 10 metros with the largest shares of million-dollar homes, 4 are in California. The booming tech industry in these markets is partially to blame for the fact that an average of nearly one-third of the homes in these areas is valued at least $1 million 

  • Seattle is the metro with the largest share of million-dollar homes outside of California. High-paying companies that are headquartered in the Seattle area, like Microsoft and Amazon, likely contribute to the 11.3% share of homes in the area that are valued at $1 million or more, and the $487,400 median home price for the area. 

  • Cincinnati, Buffalo, N.Y. and Pittsburgh are the metros with the smallest share of homes valued at $1 million or more. Only an average of 0.68% of homes in these metros are worth at least a million dollars and the median home value in each of these metros is less than $200,000.

Metros with the highest share of million-dollar homes

1. San Jose, Calif. 

  • Overall housing units: 369,724
  • Number of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 208,745
  • % of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 56.46% 
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $1,091,100

2. San Francisco 

  • Overall housing units: 933,904
  • Number of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 395,858
  • % of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 42.39%
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $910,300

3. Los Angeles 

  • Overall housing units: 2,098,772
  • Number of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 400,562
  • % of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 19.09%
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $650,300

4. San Diego 

  • Overall housing units: 600,545
  • Number of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 84,769
  • % of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 14.12%
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $606,200

5. Seattle

  • Overall housing units: 912,010
  • Number of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 102,598
  • % of units valued at or above $1,000,000: 11.25%
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $487,400

This was originally posted on lendingtree.com by Tendayi Kapfidze

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