These small US towns have the most $1M+ homes

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Home prices may seem as if they’re declining in some parts of the country, but that doesn’t change how dramatically they’ve risen over the past two and a half years. Because of this growth, homes valued at $1 million or more have become more common throughout much of the U.S.

LendingTree recently highlighted the nation’s metropolitan areas where houses valued at $1 million or more are most prevalent. Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, we’re now looking to see how common $1 million-plus homes are in the nation’s 50 most expensive micropolitan areas — referred to as “towns” here — with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.

On average, million-dollar homes are more common in the nation’s most expensive towns than in its largest metros. This doesn’t mean homes worth seven figures or more are especially common across most towns, but it shows that high-value real estate isn’t reserved for the country’s population hubs.

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25. Sandpoint, Idaho

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 13,706

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 328

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2.39% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $275,700

Related Slideshow: States where foreclosures are spiking

Image Credit: Kirk Fisher/iStock.

24. Clearlake, California

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 17,276

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 444 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2.57% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $238,000


Image Credit: lovefishn/iStock.

23. Ellensburg, Washington

Number of owner-occupied housing
units: 
 11,459

Number of owner-occupied housing
units valued at or above $1 million: 
309

% of owner-occupied housing units
valued at or above $1 million: 
 2.70% 

Median value of owner-occupied
housing units: 
$315,800

Image Credit: paulacobleigh/iStock.

22. Brookings, Oregon

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 7,919

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 228 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2.88% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $285,600

Image Credit: scampdesigns/iStock.

21. Hudson, New York

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 18,530

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 578 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 3.12% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $236,500

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

20. Laconia, New Hampshire

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 19,588

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 629 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 3.21% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $232,000

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

19. Hood River, Oregon

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  6,086

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 231 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 3.80% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $411,600

Image Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation/WIkimedia Commons.

18. Taos, New Mexico

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 9,684

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 403 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 4.16% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $249,000

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

17. Kalispell, Montana

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 29,460

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,228 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 4.17% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $294,600

Image Credit: miroslav_1/iStock.

16. Oak Harbor, Washington

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 25,127

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,082 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 4.31%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $382,900

Image Credit: Lucas Pokotylo/iStock.

15. Sheridan, Wyoming

Number of owner-occupied housing units:   8,991

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 402 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 4.47% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $284,200

Related Slideshow: These are the top 50 safest cities in the US

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

14. Fredericksburg, Texas

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  7,722

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 392 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 5.08% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $311,300

Image Credit: RAUL RODRIGUEZ / iStock.

13. Ukiah, California

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  20,611

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,247 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 6.05% 

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $388,500

Image Credit: Ordinary Mario/iStock.

12. Durango, Colorado

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 15,182

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 934 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 6.15%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $415,900

Image Credit: KaraGrubis/iStock.

11. Gardnerville Ranchos, Nevada

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 15,688

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million:  1,299

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 8.28%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $416,900

Image Credit: Betsy Smith/Google Earth.

10. Easton, Maryland

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  11,969

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,293

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 10.80%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $334,000

Image Credit: Grandbrothers/iStock.

9. Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  19,578

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2,198 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 11.23%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $394,900

Image Credit: krblokhin/iStock.

8. Kapaa, Hawaii

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  15,178

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,900

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 12.52%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $606,900

Image Credit: SEASTOCK/iStock.

7. Breckenridge, Colorado

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  7,986

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,077

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 13.49%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $596,300

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/iStock.

6. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 7,533

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,103

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 14.64%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $534,100

Image Credit: Don Miller/iStock.

5. Hailey, Idaho

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  6,334

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,098

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 17.34%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $442,500

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

4. Heber City, Utah

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 19,062

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 3,441

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 18.05%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $563,900

Image Credit: An Errant Knight/WIkimedia Commons.

3. Edwards, Colorado

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  13,016

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2,548 

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 19.58%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $617,200

Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons.

2. Jackson, Wyoming

Number of owner-occupied housing units: 8,959

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 2,363

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 26.38%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units: $524,800

Image Credit: Riderolga/iStock.

1. Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Number of owner-occupied housing units:  4,990

Number of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 1,526

% of owner-occupied housing units valued at or above $1 million: 30.58%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units:  $794,000

Image Credit: travelview/iStock.

Why are $1 million-plus homes so common in some towns?

On the surface, it may seem counterintuitive to think of towns as places where million-dollar homes frequently pop up. Towns are often thought of as cheaper than their more urban counterparts.

In some instances, this holds true. Certainly, a town like Sheridan, Wyo. (15th in our study), is considerably less expensive for homebuyers than a place like New York City. That said, other towns, like Jackson, Wyo., are among the most costly places to buy a home in the U.S.

The reasons why some towns can be so expensive are complex, but expensive towns in many cases tend to be popular vacation spots for wealthy individuals who don’t necessarily earn their money locally and can afford to spend top dollar on real estate. This is why, despite their high prices, large shares of the homes in some of the nation’s most expensive towns sit vacant for most of the year.

On top of that, rural areas often see a lack of housing development because construction is seen as too costly and not profitable enough for builders. This lack of construction can put upward pressure on home prices, which means that people have to compete for a limited number of houses. This can be true even in towns that aren’t popular vacation destinations.

Image Credit: istockphoto.

Tips for buying a home in a small town

Given how many homes in some of the towns featured in our study are worth $1 million or more, it may seem like many towns are completely unaffordable to all but the wealthy. This isn’t necessarily the case. There are still ways for middle-class buyers to make buying a house easier. Here are three tips:

  • Shop around for a lender. Lenders can offer different rates to the same borrowers. Because of this, it’s often possible to find a lower rate by shopping around for a mortgage before you buy a home. The lower your rate, the more affordable your monthly payments will likely be.
  • Boost your credit score. Generally, the higher your score is, the easier it will be for you to qualify for — and get a competitive rate on — your mortgage. If you have a strong score, you may be able to get a lower rate that makes it easier to afford a home that once seemed out of your price range.
  • Consider different types of loans. Though conventional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are the most common type of home loan, various loan options might better fit a buyer’s needs. For example, loans backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be especially helpful for some borrowers in small towns.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Methodology

The data used in this study comes from the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 American Community Survey (with five-year estimates). LendingTree used micropolitan-level data for areas with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 to approximate town-level data.

This article originally appeared on LendingTree.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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