• 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

  • News

    Training the next generation of TAPS workers

    by Emily Carlson on Jun 23, 10:57

    Alaska kids can’t escape childhood without a tale or two about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Eirik Henry heard the stories. He knew he was going to be a welder before he could walk. “I think it’s a lot of fun to put something together that someone else can’t.” Henry says he may not have understood the […]

  • News

    Flint airport stabbing suspect tried to buy gun in U.S., FBI says

    by CBS News on Jun 23, 10:41

    DETROIT — The man suspected of stabbing an officer at a Michigan airport Wednesday unsuccessfully tried to buy a gun in the U.S. before the attack, but he did buy a knife here, the FBI said on Thursday. David Gelios, head of the FBI in Detroit, made the disclosure at a news conference. He did […]

  • Light shines bright on annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game

    by Dave Leval on Jun 23, 6:44

    Eager fans celebrate as they enter Growden Park in Fairbanks. Others wait to enter the historic stadium on an atypical game night. It’s the Midnight Sun Game, the 112th edition. That draws plenty of first-time fans to the ballpark, including, South Dakota’s Jason Roberts. “I heard it’s the place to be! Why not take in a […]

  • News

    Alaskan senators react to health care bill

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 23, 6:28

    Alaska’s senators have yet to take a stand on the health care bill saying they need more time to read through it. Senator Lisa Murkowski released a statement saying, “I remain committed to ensuring that all Alaskans have access to affordable, quality health care and will vet this bill through that lens.” One thing Murkowski […]

  • Two of three Mat-Su Senators now in the minority

    by Liz Raines on Jun 22, 21:11

    In an unexpected move Thursday evening, Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) voted against a compromise budget bill put forward by the operating budget conference committee. Voting for the budget is a requirement for remaining in the Republican-led Majority caucus. Hughes now becomes the second Matsu Senator this year to leave the Majority. In April, Sen. Mike […]

  • Lifestyle

    3 key things to know about the Senate health care bill

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 18:36

    The Senate’s health insurance bill is finally available for scrutiny. While Washington watchers analyze its chances for passage, let’s take a look at the consequences for consumers. Here’s what you should keep an eye on as the bill moves forward toward inevitable tweaks and an expected vote next week. Subsidies. The Senate bill has edged […]

  • News

    UA system takes $8M cut in proposed agreement

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 22, 17:46

    The University of Alaska Board of Regents is moving forward after the legislature announced a funding agreement for the university system. The House and Senate agreed to a $317 million budget for the university and the regents voted to approve it. It’s a cut of $8 million, less than the regents asked for, but also […]

  • News

    Investigators probing if Trump campaign got info from Russian hacks

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 17:04

    CBS News has confirmed that congressional investigators are interested in whether Trump campaign associates obtained information from hacked voter databases. A source indicated it is still early on in the process of scrutinizing the issue, but the House Intelligence Committee is said to be scrutinizing relevant documents to see if there is a connection. TIME […]