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The 10 Most Expensive Small Towns in the US

by Jori Ayers Aug 18, 2021

If you think living in LA, DC, or Denver is a drain on your bank account, wait until you see how much financial damage living in a small town can do.

Using data gathered from the US Census Bureau, LendingTree, an online loan marketplace, has drawn a list of the most expensive small towns in the US. It selected the 50 towns with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants that have the most expensive median home values.

The 10 most expensive small towns in the US:

  1. Vineyard Haven, MA (median home price: $699,500)
  2. Breckenridge, CO (median home price: $579,600)
  3. Jackson, WY (median home price: $549,800)
  4. Steamboat Springs, CO (median home price: $535,300)
  5. Hailey, ID (median home price: $413,700)
  6. Gardnerville Ranchos, NV (median home price: $378,800)
  7. Hood River, OR (median home price: $373,600)
  8. Juneau, AK (median home price: $345,900)
  9. Easton, MD (median home price: $336,800)
  10. Los Alamos, NM (median home price: $302,800)

To show just how unaffordable owning a house in these small towns is, LendingTree calculated the home value to income ratio for each town by dividing an area’s median home value by its median household income. Relative to income, the ranking of the most expensive small towns in the US changes:

  1. Vineyard Haven, MA (the medium home value is 9.74 times higher than the median household income)
  2. Hailey, ID (7.52 times)
  3. Breckenridge, CO (7.31 times)
  4. Steamboat Springs, CO (6.91 times)
  5. Jackson, WY (6.75 times)
  6. Taos, NM (6.25 times)
  7. Hood River, OR (5.69 times)
  8. Gardnerville Ranchos, NV (5.67 times)
  9. Brookings, OR (5.48 times)
  10. Astoria, OR (5.17 times)

Living in these small towns is comparable to living in large metropolitan areas. The median home value in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, is comparable to that of LA. The median home value in Hailey, Idaho, is comparable to that of Washington, DC.

Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard tops both lists, it’s not impossible to vacation on Massachusett island for cheap.

Bozeman, Montana, a small town on the rise because of the influx of remote workers, has not made the list just yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the ranking in the next few years.

For the full ranking of the 50 most expensive small towns in the US, check out Lending tree’s website.

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