Million-Dollar Homes Springing Up All Over West Coast

Million-dollar homes “are far rarer than it seems, considering the amount of attention they get,” says Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist with LendingTree, Charlotte, N.C.

That said, the number of million-dollar homes–and million-dollar neighborhoods–are on the rise. And a new LendingTree study shows most of them are on the West Coast, particularly in California. By contrast, the Northeast (even with greater New York in the mix) has the lowest concentration.

Key study findings:

–California is home to the top three places with the highest concentration of million-dollar homes. San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are also four of the only five metros where more than 10 percent of homes are valued over $1 million.

–Most cities in the top 10 are on the coasts, with the exception of Denver, which is the farthest inland.

–Cities in the top 10 are known for having expensive housing markets in general. They all have median values above $300,000, except for Miami.

–Rust Belt cities dominate the 10 places with the smallest concentration of million-dollar homes. These are also generally more affordable cities and have median values below $200,000, with the exception of Hartford, Conn.

–Buffalo, N.Y. has the lowest share of homes over $1 million with only one out of every 1,000 homes passing the threshold.

Kapfidze said the study showed housing “unicorns” (homes above $1 million) tend to follow start-up unicorns. In tech-heavy San Jose, for example, a “jaw-dropping” 53.81% of homes exceed the million-dollar mark and is the only area where the median home value also exceeds $1 million. San Francisco boasts 40.03% of $1 million-plus homes, while Los Angeles has a million-dollar mix at 17.23%.

“It’s like the California gold rush never ended,” Kapfidze said.

On the other end, just 0.1 percent of Buffalo homes exceed $1 million, in an area where the median home value is $141,000. In Pittsburgh, 0.17 percent of homes exceed $1 million (median home value: $149,000), while in Hartford, the share of million-dollar homes is 0.18 percent, despite a median home value of $223,000.

The report can be accessed at