Here are America’s most and least expensive neighborhoods per square foot

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Office buildings in New York City set to become residential spaces


House hunters frequently consider price per square foot when they’re shopping for real estate because the figure can provide value comparisons with other properties in the same area. 

But looking at a neighborhood’s average selling price on a square-foot basis can also shed some insight into where America’s priciest and cheapest real estate is located. 

A new report from home warranty company American Home Shield finds that the nation’s most expensive neighborhoods are located in California, Florida and New York, while the cheapest zip codes can be found in the Rust Belt and the South. While those cheaper locations might provide more affordable properties, they could come with some downsides, such as a lack of job opportunities or housing choices.

Still, buyers can save a lot of money by opting for a neighborhood with a lower per-square-foot sales price. The difference between the most expensive neighborhood and the least costly place to buy a home is $5,386 per square foot, AHS’ findings show. 

The most expensive American neighborhood: San Francisco’s South of Market, a zip code that’s home to tech giants such as Airbnb and Uber. South of Market’s median household income is about $104,440, higher than the median U.S. household income of about $75,000. 

Home to tech giants such as Airbnb, the South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood of downtown San Francisco, California, has the most expensive real estate in the U.S. on a per-square foot basis.

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Buying a property in South of Market will cost about $5,415 per square foot — or about $5.4 million for a 1,000-square-foot apartment. In the cheapest location, Homewood, Pennsylvania, that same-sized home would cost about $29,000.

On a national basis, the median price per square foot is about $222, according to Rocket Mortgage. That equates to a purchase price of $222,000 for a 1,000 square-foot apartment.

Gary Housing
Real estate in Gary, Indiana is among the most affordable on a per-square-foot basis in the U.S., a new analysis finds.

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Here’s the most and least expensive places to buy a home in the U.S.

Least Expensive: 

  • Homewood, North Allegheny County, Pennsylvania  – $29 per square foot
  • West Jackson, Hinds County, Missouri – $32 per square foot
  • Downtown Gary, Lake County, Indiana – $32 per square foot
  • Metawanee Hills, Genesee County, Michigan – $32 per square foot
  • Uptown Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee – $33 per square foot
  • Wells/Goodfellow, St. Louis City, Missouri – $33 per square foot
  • Onyx, Lucas County, Ohio – $34 per square foot
  • Queensborough, Caddo Parish, Louisiana – $35 per square foot
  • Industry, Delaware County, Indiana – $35 per square foot
  • Roosevelt, Lucas County, Ohio – $35 per square foot

Most Expensive: 

  • South of Market, San Francisco, California  – $5,415 per square foot
  • Northwest Auburn, Placer County, California – $4,416 per square foot
  • Old Town Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California – $4,129 per square foot
  • Downtown Bellevue, King County, Washington – $3,619 per square foot
  • Port Royal, Collier County, Florida – $3,375 per square foot
  • Aqualane Shares, Collier County, Florida – $3,132 per square foot
  • Stinson Beach, Marin County, California – $2,988 per square foot
  • Star, Palm & Hibiscus Islands, Miami/Dade County, Florida – $2,861 per square foot
  • Crystal Cove, Orange County, California – $2,771 per square foot
  • Casa del Largo, Palm Beach County, Florida – $2,754 per square foot

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