Soaring home values add more U.S. cities to million-dollar list

The typical U.S. home value raised to just over a quarter-million in 2020. A boost in value nationwide has added 45 more cities to the 'million-dollar cities' list, a gain of 17 percent and the largest net increase in at least a decade.

The typical value of a home in the United States is a little more than a quarter-million dollars ($263,351 in November 2020, to be exact). But in 312 cities and towns nationwide, the typical home is worth a cool million or more,  up 45 from a year ago and an increase of 104 from five years ago.

This net gain of 45 cities in membership in the million-dollar city club is the largest increase in at least a decade —  a reflection of the red hot market last year in which home values grew 7.5% annually in November on the back of surging housing demand through most of 2020.  In 2019, home values appreciated at the lowest annual rate since 2013, and a net of two cities fell below the $1 million threshold. 

A majority (70%) of the nation’s million-dollar cities are concentrated within nine coastal metro areas. Among those, 61 are in the San Francisco metro area, 51 are clustered around New York City and 39 are in the Los Angeles area. The metro areas of San Jose (20 cities), Boston (11),  Miami-Fort Lauderdale (11), Seattle (9) and Washington, D.C., (8) also have multiple cities where the typical home value exceeds $1 million. 

Still, despite the label, there are homes available in these communities for less than $1 million — this is just the median value — but buyers must be realistic about their wish list in these areas and act quickly in the current market.  For sellers, it is possible to capitalize on the recent growth in these markets and use profits from a sale to relocate to far less-expensive markets – particularly with an increase in remote work offering flexibility in the job market.