Where Are The Country’s Million-Dollar-Plus Homes Located?

Hint: Look for the nation's busiest FBO.

When you’re talking about wealthy pockets of the country, there are few better indicators than residential real estate prices. Almost everyone—from homeowners to prospective homebuyers—is acutely aware of low inventory and sky-high asking prices. 

Zillow has put the matter in stark terms with an easy-to-remember number: The tech real-estate marketplace company took a hard look at places where the typical home is valued at $1 million or more, and while the locations are not especially surprising (the coastal states, the biggest states, and the richest states by GDP all came up roses), the extent of the imbalance is striking. 

“There’s California, then everywhere else,” the study’s authors assert. “California is home to 210 million-dollar cities, more than the next five states combined, and 12 more than a year ago.”

New York, in the No. 2 spot, is miles behind, with 66 million-dollar cities. (But that's a little misleading. Read on.)

The other big news from Zillow: There are now 550 million-dollar cities, 59 more than a year ago. That means it’s a great time to be a homeowner. It also means that the Golden State boasts 38% of the country’s million-dollar cities. 

Even Californians seem taken aback: “When you think of towns with $1-million-plus homes, tony places such as Beverly Hills, San Marino, Newport Beach, and Palos Verdes Estates might come to mind,” writes Terry Castleman, a data reporter at the Los Angeles Times

But Tustin in Orange County? 

Yes, Tustin. “[A]s California housing values keep rising,” Castleman writes, “some cities that until recently had reputations for working-class modesty are joining the list of communities with median home values more than $1 million.”

When you look at the U.S. in terms of metro areas rather than states—perhaps a more useful way to gauge wealth concentration—the New York City metro (the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) comes out on top, with 106 million-dollar cities. 

That’s why New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport is the nation’s busiest private jet airport—home to six FBOs (four of them Signature), each with its own terminal. Teterboro is followed by Palm Beach International Airport—because the snowbirds fly in for the season from the New York tri-state, of course.

Trailing the Big Apple in million-dollar homes are the following metro areas: San Francisco (69 million-dollar cities), Los Angeles (63), Boston (23), San Jose (18), Seattle (17), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (17), Washington, D.C. (14), San Diego (10), and the metro cluster in and around posh Santa Barbara (9).