California unseats New York as home to the country’s priciest real estate

The most expensive place to rest your head? Palo Alto

(Credit: PxHere/Illustration by Carolina Astaburuaga via Flickr)
(Credit: PxHere/Illustration by Carolina Astaburuaga via Flickr)

How far does a dollar go in terms of square feet? It used to depend on whether you were in New York or not, but now it largely depends whether you’re in Cali or not.

A recent Zillow study examined the question by looking at how much space one dollar bought across the country, which Bloomberg then extrapolated to account for a king-sized mattress, or about 42 square feet.

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The results were not wholly surprising—money is expected to buy less in major markets—except for which neighborhoods ended up on top; the priciest market turned out to be the sleepy tech hub of Palo Alto. To buy space fit just for a large mattress there will cost between about $80,000 all the way up to just over $97,000.

In fact, of the nation’s top 10 most expensive neighborhoods to buy space fit for a bed, Palo Alto dominated with only two outside neighborhoods, both in New York—West Village where it would cost just under $80,000, and Soho where the space would cost $78,000.

As Bloomberg noted, the results show a significant shift in real estate pricing. A decade ago, New York dominated the top 20 most expensive markets in terms of price-per-square foot. Now the Big Apple only occupies five spots—the rest is taken over by California neighborhoods. [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson