People have been flocking to big cities for decades, driving the prices of residential real estate up in big cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the work-from-home trend, which would give people the freedom to live and work from anywhere. It could hurt the real estate prices in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the coming years. But for now, these three are the most valuable cities in the United States.
How do you attach monetary value to a city? LendingTree analyzed the total value of residential real estate in American cities and ranked them accordingly. The online lending marketplace looked at the home value figures in the My LendingTree property value database as of January 2020 to determine the total value of cities.
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Most valuable cities
The My LendingTree database consists of the home values of around 155 million properties. According to LendingTree, the total value of residential real estate owned by American households is $32.6 trillion. That's pretty close to the Federal Reserve's estimate of $32.9 trillion. By comparison, the total value of the US stock market is $49.6 trillion.
LendingTree data show that the top 10 most valuable cities account for approximately 36% of the total value of residential real estate. These are the most valuable cities in the US:
10- Philadelphia, $577 billion
Philadelphia has several firsts to its credit including America’s first medical school, first hospital, first stock exchange, and first business school. The total value of residential real estate in Philadelphia is $577 billion, almost as much as the total market cap of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba ($579 billion).
9- Dallas, $628 billion
Recently, the National Association of Realtors ranked Dallas among the best housing markets for millennials amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dallas metropolitan area offers both quiet, suburban living and the excitement of a big city. Its residential real estate market is estimated to be worth $628 billion.
8- Seattle, $700 billion
Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Its real estate market is also ridiculously expensive. It attracts young talent from all over the world, thanks to the presence of corporate giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boeing. Seattle's residential real estate market is worth $700 billion.
7- Miami, $774 billion
Miami has a strong international business community and some of the world's best beaches. The city attracts job-seekers, tourists, as well as retirees. Miami is considered the gateway to Latin America. Many large corporations have made it the headquarters of their Latin American operations.
6- Boston, $815 billion
Boston is the sixth most valuable city in the country, with the total value of its residential real estate market at $815 billion. The city is home to MIT and Harvard. It also has a well-developed startup ecosystem. Boston also enjoys low unemployment rates and high average starting salaries.
5- Washington, D.C., $826 billion
The national capital has a high concentration of millionaire households. According to a report, it has 29,506 millionaire households. The cost of living in Washington, D.C. area is nearly 50% higher than the national average, and the median home price is $455,000. The combined value of all residential real estate in the national capital is $826 billion.
4- Chicago, $906 billion
Often referred to as the rat capital of America, Chicago is the 4th most valuable city in America. Its total residential real estate value is $906 billion, a little higher than the Netherlands' GDP of $902 billion. The median home price in Chicago is $245,000.
3- San Francisco, $1,320 billion
San Francisco is one of the only three cities in the trillion-dollar club. The total value of San Francisco's residential real estate is a staggering $1,320 billion. By comparison, e-commerce giant Amazon's market cap is $1,435 billion. A median priced home in the city costs $959,000. The median household income in the San Francisco Bay area is $92,714.
2- Los Angeles, $2,289 billion
The total residential real estate value of Los Angeles is almost as much as the combined market cap of Amazon and Alphabet. A median-priced house costs $668,000 in the city of glitz and glamor. By comparison, the median household income is $65,331.
1- New York City, $2,838 billion
According to LendingTree, New York is the most valuable city in the country at $2,838 billion. The total value of New York's residential real estate nearly equals the combined market cap of Apple and Microsoft, two of the most valuable companies in the US. New York is the world's leading financial center. It's home to two of the world's largest stock exchanges - NYSE and Nasdaq. The median home price in New York is $501,000.