America's Best Cities for Luxury Living


The United States’ housing market is making a speedy recovery in many of the most elite markets around the country, which is good news for luxury home buyers. Suffused with amenities and situated in the most popular locations, today’s top homes come at premiums that the world’s most discerning occupants are willing to pay.

Here is a tantalizing taste of what’s offered in America’s most exclusive zip codes.

1. San Francisco

From breathtaking views to some of the world’s most enviable art collections, San Francisco boasts a plethora of attractions to delight the most refined palates. Just about every style of luxury home is offered in San Francisco, from the iconic Victorian and Edwardian Painted Ladies to the stately yet architecturally innovative homes that grace the slopes of Pacific Heights’ Billionaire Row. High-end condos abound in the Financial District and South Beach neighborhoods, which attract the city’s younger crowds and those who like to stay close to the action.

While the city may have an average home price of $767,700, the price tag is much higher in the prestigious Presidio Heights and the Sea Cliff neighborhoods as well as in the Marina District. Presidio Heights features wide streets and lush gardens, reminiscent of European gardens and homes. The Sea Cliff neighborhood’s most alluring feature can be found right in its name; the views are astonishing. The bustling Marina District, home to the striking Palace of Fine Arts, has also grown in popularity in recent years among professionals in their 20s and 30s. From secluded elegance to a prime location right in the heart of the city, San Francisco offers it all.

2. Miami

While average Miami real estate prices may only fall in the $200,000 range, the city is known for the many outliers that occupy the opposite end of the spectrum. In Miami, luxury means a home right on the water, perhaps next to a property owned by one or two of the many celebrities the city attracts. Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon and Sylvester Stallone are just a few celebrities who call the city home. Miami’s many housing offerings include sprawling mansions with private docks and beaches for photo-perfect moments at sunrise or sunset. Luxurious condos are widespread, placing occupants close to the bustle of fashion week and the infectious rhythms of the city’s music festivals. Miami’s nightlife is world famous, making the sun-kissed city both a relaxing and vibrant place to call home year-round.

3. Beverly Hills

At $2,319,400, the average Beverly Hills home price eclipses the top home prices in many cities nationwide. This isn’t just a city of luxury neighborhoods, it’s a luxury city. Surrounded almost entirely by Los Angeles, it’s no wonder the stately manors of Beverly Hills house some of the world’s most famous people. From luxury estates featuring French chateaus to modern architectural marvels, just about every stunning home style can be found in Beverly Hills. Five-star restaurants are as plentiful as bubbling fountains in this city, and the designer fashion along Rodeo Drive is internationally famous for being cutting edge.

4. New York

Of course, no list would be complete without the addition of New York City, which encompasses some of the most expensive zip codes in the country. While the average home price is just less than half a million dollars, there are many neighborhoods in New York City where twice or three times that amount barely scratches the surface of the luxury accommodations available.

Manhattan is the obvious luxury choice for many, with both historic and modern buildings abound with breathtaking views of Central Park. The area offers easy access to world class shopping on 5th Ave as well as in small boutiques with individually crafted items.

Brooklyn has also become a top choice for many luxury seekers. The borough’s iconic brownstones are only slightly more affordable than Manhattan’s penthouses. Brooklyn offers a thriving art and music scene to rival that of any other city. With a summerside retreat in the Hamptons only a short distance away, New York residents get the best of city high life and beachside escapes.

5. Honolulu

While the average housing price in Honolulu is slightly more than half a million dollars, the cost of living in the striking city on the island of Oahu is a whopping 70.8 percent higher than the national average. The price tag is well worth it for the privilege of staying in this beautiful and culturally active city. In the touristy Waikiki, residents can indulge in the amenities offered by countless beachside resorts. The Diamond Head neighborhood is also a popular choice, with mansions and townhomes available right on the beach. The popular shopping destinations are as plentiful as the snorkeling and boating opportunities, making Honolulu a stimulating choice for those drawn to both relaxation and adventure.

These five cities offer the finest taste of indulgence to suit the most discerning buyers from the U.S. and abroad. Home buyers can find anything to fit their likings in these cities, from art and theater to food and world class beaches.

City photographs courtesy of Shutterstock






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