• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers: Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA - Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
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

  • Lifestyle

    SpaceX says it will fly 2 people around the moon next year

    by Associated Press on Feb 27, 13:23

    SpaceX says it will fly two people to the moon next year. Company chief Elon Musk announced the surprising news Monday. Two people who know one another approached the company about sending them on a weeklong flight just beyond the moon. Musk won’t identify the pair or the price tag. He says they’ve already paid […]

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Laura Freeman

    by James Gaddis on Feb 27, 12:14

    For the first time in Laura Freeman’s 16-year teaching career, she is teaching just one subject — math. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week was instrumental in changing the fifth and sixth grade class structure, at Baxter Elementary School, to a middle school model. This year, the school’s oldest students have a different teacher for math, english, […]

  • Weather

    Plow crews reopen Elliott Highway, work to open Steese

    by Associated Press on Feb 27, 10:28

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Heavy snowfall and strong winds closed two northern Alaska highways over the weekend. Alaska Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says crews have reopened the Elliott Highway after a closure Sunday and are working to reopen the Steese Highway. She says truckers heading for North Slope oil fields face hazardous conditions […]

  • News

    Wasilla man killed in snowmachine wreck in Talkeetna

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 9:30

    A 19-year-old was killed in a snowmachine wreck in Talkeetna Sunday. At 3:20 p.m., Alaska State Troopers were notified of a “possible fatality in the area of the Talkeetna Mountains, near Yoder Road, in Talkeetna,” the agency said. Jacob Harris, of Wasilla, was found underneath his idling snowmachine near a steep embankment. He was unresponsive. Other […]

  • News

    AST: 1 killed in Butte house fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 9:20

    A woman was killed and a man was injured in a house fire on South Knik River Road Sunday, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers and the Mat-Su Fire Department were called to the home at 12:54 p.m. for a report of a residence fully engulfed in flames, with one woman still inside, AST said. “Investigation revealed […]

  • Lifestyle

    Chugiak first responder thankful for community support after snowboarding accident

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 27, 7:30

    A Chugiak first responder who’s used to rescuing other people found himself on the other side of an accident last week. Peter Casey works as a flight paramedic for LifeMed Alaska and helps out with Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue. In his free time, the lifelong Alaskan enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family. But […]

  • Poll: US teens disillusioned, divided by politics

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 6:17

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A survey of children ages 13 to 17 finds that America’s teens are almost as politically disillusioned and pessimistic about the nation’s divisions as their parents. But they aren’t quite as quick to write off the future as adults. The poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds […]

  • News

    Hostetler Park renovation project includes new plan for Alaska Victims Memorial

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 26, 18:45

    A small park in the northwest corner of downtown Anchorage will soon have a new look. Hostetler Park is located where Third Avenue becomes L Street. Since 1994, the eastern portion of the park has been occupied by the Alaska Victims Memorial. It includes the names of more than 350 Alaskans who died because of […]