12 Topekas. 1 Beverly Hills. Tough Trade
By Les Christie
Pity the poor, modern-day Jed Clampett, exchanging the simple and inexpensive life of the Ozarks for the glitz, glamor – and prices – of Beverly Hills. A typical middle-class house in the Southern California city now costs more than 10 times what a similar place sells for near Clampett’s old stomping grounds, Fort Smith, Ark.
That’s according to the Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index released Wednesday. The index provides apples-to-apples comparisons of 342 U.S. markets, looking at the cost of a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 2,200 square foot house with a two-car garage in a nice, middle-class neighborhood.
This year, that home in Beverly Hills costs $1.8 million; in Minot, N.D. it’s just $132,333 – a difference of nearly 14 times from the most expensive to least expensive market.
“Each year the difference between the most and least expensive city is growing,” says Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker’s CEO.
Other states over-represented on the most expensive list were Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida and Hawaii. Chicago, where such a house costs about $916,667, is the most expensive inland city.
Basking Ridge $660,000
Princeton Junction $621,250
Toms River $445,000
Mt. Laurel $359,167
Cherry Hill $289,855