• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 50s

This town boasts the priciest real estate in U.S.

By Aimee Picchi/CBS News 12:45 PM June 10, 2014

Chances are, if asked to name the most expensive real estate markets in the U.S., you might answer Beverly Hills, New York City’s Upper East Side or Palm Beach, Florida.

While those markets remain among the country’s highest priced, there’s one small California town that’s now ranked above the tried-and-true outposts of America’s high earners. But unlike those other markets, chances are you’ve never heard of Atherton, California.

This small town now boasts the priciest real estate in the country, thanks to its proximity to Silicon Valley. That’s attracted the likes of Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, both of whom count the town of 7,000 people as home. What does it take to buy a foothold within the town limits? The least expensive single-family home is listed for $1.6 million, which will only get you 1,700 square feet of living space. That means the asking price is approaching $1,000 per square foot.The rise in Atherton’s fortunes comes amid a boom in the technology sector, with the Nasdaq index up 25 percent during the past 12 months. On top of that, tech companies such as Alibaba are planning IPOs, while giants such as Facebook and Apple have been snapping up smaller companies, boosting the fortunes of the executives at the acquired firms.

Already expensive, home prices there have surged 40 percent in the past year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In other words, the rising tide of Silicon Valley’s fortunes is lifting the home values in Atherton. But what else about the town makes it alluring to millionaires and billionaires? The town describes itself as a “small, rural, and residential community, with no industrial land-use base.” Its six square miles are dotted with live oaks, white oaks, bays, redwoods and other trees.

Best of all might be its quick commute to some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, especially given San Francisco’s notorious commutes. For executives at Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies, getting to work from Atherton requires only a 15 or 20 minute drive.

Another attraction might come from knowing that your neighbors are among the elite of Silicon Valley. About 10 percent of the billionaires living in the San Francisco area call the town home, according to Curbed.com.

Breaking into Atherton isn’t easy. About 80 percent of all purchases of homes priced at $10 million or more are done in cash, Realtor Ken DeLeon told the Daily Mail. Already this year, eight houses have sold for more than $10 million, according to Zillow. The most expensive was a $25 million home featuring a pool, cabana, tennis courts and 13,600 square feet of living space.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Anchorage youth shine on national soccer stage

    by Jake Edmonds on Jul 27, 17:05

    Soccer is growing in Alaska and local youth are growing up with it. Alexis Mckinnon, Casey Leonard, and Isabella Roberts are among five Anchorage natives that play for the “U16 AK Selects Chicas.” The team travels all over the country, playing in tournaments against the country’s best up-and-coming soccer stars. “It’s definitely fun just traveling […]

  • News

    Wreckage of crashed Alaska sightseeing plane recovered

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 15:12

    The wreckage of a sightseeing plane that crashed near Ketchikan last month, killing all nine people onboard, has been recovered. Clint Johnson, chief of the Alaska regional office of the National Transportation Safety Board, says the wreckage was removed from the steep, rugged terrain over the weekend, loaded onto a barge and transported to a […]

  • Politics

    New director chosen for Alaska Division of Elections

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 14:26

    Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has chosen a new director for Alaska’s Division of Elections. Claire Richardson, a special staff assistant to Mallott, said Mallott asked for and accepted the resignation of Gail Fenumiai on Friday. Richardson says there was nothing personal about the request; she says Mallott is thankful for the work Fenumiai has done […]

  • DayBreak

    Maternity fashion finds for Alaskan moms-to-be

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 27, 13:11

    Pregnant mothers have no reason to feel like their fashion sense is gone, says Kari Skinner, the marketing director of Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall. She says Anchorage has plenty of stylish maternity shops, such as Kohl’s, Target, Old Navy and Motherhood Maternity. On Monday, Skinner joined Daybreak with some simple ways to look and feel […]

  • Crime

    Hit-and-run driver sought after injury crash in midtown Anchorage

    by Makayla Clark on Jul 27, 12:33

    Authorities are asking the public for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run crash that happened Friday. At about 11:45 a.m., a bicyclist fractured his leg when he was knocked off his bike on Chugach Way near Spenard Road, according to an Anchorage Police Department release. “The motorist stopped briefly, and then ran over the […]

  • News

    Strong earthquake rattles Alaska’s Aleutian Islands

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 11:48

    The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting no damage from a strong earthquake that rocked Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The quake struck at 8:49 p.m. Sunday and was centered 45 miles southwest of the village of Nikolski at a depth of 16 miles. The USGS says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9. Nikolski and its […]

  • Crime

    Authorities nab 4 in early morning drug raid in Kodiak

    by Hope Miller on Jul 27, 11:27

    Authorities in Kodiak arrested four people and seized an estimated $74,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamine early Sunday after serving search warrants at three homes. The search netted roughly 120 grams of heroin and about 146 grams of meth, according to a release from the Kodiak Police Department. In Kodiak, a gram of heroin and […]

  • News

    Fairbanks man killed in Steese Highway crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 27, 10:19

    A Fairbanks man is dead after a driver ran a red light Saturday night, authorities say. Police say 73-year-old William Ambrose, Sr. was killed after his 2008 Ford Focus was struck by a Ford F-250 Saturday night around 9:30. Ambrose was traveling westbound on Third Street to turn south on the Steese Highway when the […]