The most expensive metro areas in the US to buy and rent

1 min readLast updated October 19, 2023by Lisa-Marie Voneshen

Whether you're renting or buying a home, costs are getting more and more expensive. So, where is the most expensive place to buy or rent in the US?

Where are the most expensive metro areas to buy? 

Zillow, the real-estate marketplace company, has crunched the data and revealed San Jose, California, is the most expensive metro area to buy in.  

San Jose isn’t the only California city to make it into the top 10; another two areas feature in the list – Santa Cruz and San Francisco.  

Californian cities regularly appear in lists of the most expensive cities to buy in. With San Francisco’s tech dominance, it’s hardly surprising the city and its surrounding areas are becoming highly sought after.  

Over the last year, buying your own home across the US has become a lot more expensive as mortgage rates have soared. 

While some metro areas are significantly cheaper to buy in compared to the average US house price of $346,856 (as of May 2023), some places are a lot more expensive. 

The full list of most expensive metro areas, according to Zillow, includes:   

Metro areaTypical home values
San Jose, California $1,457,497
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts $1,397,509
Edwards, Colorado $1,173,768
Santa Cruz, California $1,134,959
Jackson, Wyoming $1,134,241
San Francisco, California $1,128,962
Kahului, Hawaii $988,671
Key West, Florida $969,173
Heber, Utah $968,546
Steamboat Springs, Colorado $965,696

Where are the most expensive metro areas to rent? 

Renting costs are also going up.  

According to Zillow, in May 2023 alone, rents grew by 4.8 percent to about $2,048 a month on average nationally. However, in some areas of the US, the typical monthly rent is exorbitantly higher.  

Here are the 10 most expensive metro areas, which are significantly more than the monthly average of $2,048: 

Metro areaTypical monthly rent
Glenwood Springs, Colorado $16,429
Jackson, Wyoming $10,394
Edwards, Colorado $4,165
Key West, Florida $3,911
Santa Maria, California $3,492
Heber, Utah $3,458
Kahului, Hawaii $3,399
San Jose, California $3,355
New York $3,336
Breckenridge, Colorado $3,329

Colorado appears on the list three times, just edging California with two.  

This is unsurprising as Colorado has quickly become the most expensive US state for renters. According to MovingFeedback, the moving company comparison website, Colorado has seen rent increase by 54% over the past three years – the biggest increase in rent prices across the country.  

This uptick in prices in Colorado – for both buyers and renters – can be attributed to several factors, including a high cost of living, the state’s growing population, and a limited housing supply.  

The bottom line 

It’s easy to understand the appeal of these expensive cities – growing populations, booming job markets, and an abundance of amenities.  

However, despite the appeal, it’s important to consider all factors when choosing where you will settle down. Healthcare, cost of living, and taxes are just some things you need to consider before choosing a location to buy or rent.  

If you’re considering buying your first home, choosing a location to rent, or perhaps you’re looking to relocate, it’s a good idea to talk to a financial advisor who can look at your circumstances to help ensure your finances are ready. Unbiased can match you with your perfect financial professional. Get started today. 

Senior Content Writer

Lisa-Marie Voneshen

Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.