September 24, 2021

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These are the 10 most expensive small towns in America

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Big-city dwellers may dream of slashing expenses by moving to the country. But owning a home in a small town can be just as costly as a major metropolis — and in some cases, properties may be pricier.

That’s according to a study from LendingTree, which analyzed home prices in some of the country’s most expensive small towns.

The analysis shows the most expensive small towns are typically popular vacation spots for the affluent, where homebuyers make their money elsewhere.

For example, Vineyard Haven, Mass., Breckenridge, Colo., and Jackson, Wyo., have median prices at $699,500, $579,600 and $549,800, respectively.

By comparison, someone may spend $613,400 on a home in Los Angeles or $563,700 on property in San Diego.

Here are the 10 most expensive small towns in America:

  1. Vineyard Haven, MA 
  2. Breckenridge, CO 
  3. Jackson, WY 
  4. Steamboat Springs, CO 
  5. Hailey, ID 
  6. Gardnerville Ranchos, NV 
  7. Hood River, OR 
  8. Juneau, AK 
  9. Easton, MD 
  10. Los Alamos, NM 

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While small-town living may be expensive, there are a few ways to reduce the cost of homeownership. Buyers may shop around for mortgages to score the best possible rate.

They may also consider a government-backed loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a lower down payment and cheaper interest rates on a rural home. Moreover, some closing costs may be negotiable.

LendingTree analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. To estimate town-level data, the company looked at places with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.   

LendingTree assessed each home value-to-income ratio by dividing median home values by household incomes. The bigger the ratio, the more costly homes were relative to median income.

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