Where Washington ranks among nation’s most valuable cities

Posted by: mihaighimciuc 29 October 2020 No Comments

Washington, D.C.’s residential real estate, including many new buildings centered around 14th and U streets NW, shown here, is roughly the value of Microsoft Corp.

The combined value of Washington, D.C.’s residential real estate puts it well within the top 10 of American cities.

That’s one takeaway from LendingTree’s new ranking of most valuable cities, which compares the country’s top 50 metros based on the value of their residential real estate markets.

Washington, D.C., ranked No. 5 on the list, with a total value of $826 billion, a little less than the value of Google parent Alphabet Inc., which was valued at $994 million by Standard & Poors in February, LendingTree reports. The median home value in the city was $466,000, according to the data.

Nearby, Baltimore came in 22nd with a total value of $301 billion, roughly equivalent to the value of banking giant Bank of America Corp. Philadelphia came in 10th, with a value of $577 billion, putting it on par with another tech giant, Facebook Inc.

To see the full ranking, check out the chart below.

To determine its ranking, LendingTree used home value figures from January 2020 compiled on its My LendingTree property value database. The database includes estimated home values for more than 155 million properties in the U.S. based on public tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data, as well as proprietary local data.

LendingTree Reveals the Most Valuable Cities in America

American households own $29.2 trillion of residential real estate, a significant part of the $107 trillion in household net worth in the United States. Financial assets add $87.7 trillion to household net worth and consumer durable goods add $5.7 trillion. Debts, including mortgage debt, subtract $15.4 trillion from Americans’ household net worth.

Real estate wealth is not evenly distributed across the country and is largely concentrated in large cities. But it begs the question: What are the most valuable cities in America?

LendingTree analyzed the total value of residential real estate in American cities. The real estate values come from the My LendingTree property value database, which is a collection of real estate data of more than 155 million U.S. properties. The total value of residential real estate in the database was $32.6 trillion, close to the Federal Reserve’s estimate of total residential real estate value of $32.9 trillion. 

For comparison, the total value of issued corporate equity (stocks) in the U.S. is $49.6 trillion. We compared each city to the U.S. stock market to find the company that most closely matched its value. We also compared the total value of residential properties in each city to the GDP of countries around the world.  

Of course, the comparisons are not apples to apples: GDP represents a single year’s output while the value of homes persists year after year (mostly upward and a few times declining). Cities represent the sum of individually-owned properties while stocks are the exact opposite: fractional ownership of a single company. Nonetheless, we paired up cities with their equivalent country GDP and company stock market values to get a sense of value.

Key findings

  • New York has the most valuable real estate in the U.S. at $2.8 trillion — slightly more than the entire GDP of the United Kingdom for 2019. In fact, this is greater than the GDP of all but just five countries — India, Germany, Japan, China and the United States. The value of New York is comparable to the combined market value of tech giants Apple and Microsoft.
  • Los Angeles is second at $2.3 trillion, close to the GDP of Italy and the combined value of Amazon and Alphabet (the parent company of Google).
  • San Francisco is third at $1.3 trillion, approximately the same as Mexico’s GDP and the value of Microsoft. 
  • These three markets are the only cities above $1 trillion, and value falls rapidly from there. Cities after 15th-ranked Riverside, Calif., are all valued under $500 billion and under $200 billion after 29th-ranked St. Louis. 
  • The Federal Reserve values total residential real estate owned by households at $32.9 trillion. We found that the top 10 cities account for nearly 36% of that value. The top 50 add up to about 66% (or two-thirds) of the total. 
  • Our top 50 is rounded out by New Orleans, Naples, Fla. and Salt Lake City, with real estate values comparable to the GDPs of Ecuador for New Orleans and Slovakia for Naples and Salt Lake City. Their company equivalents are General Electric, Starbucks and Qualcomm. 
  • Although our list shows the top 50 cities, we calculated the value of every metro area in the U.S. The least valuable metro was Battle Creek, Mich., with real estate valued at $989 million. 

Most valuable cities in America

1. New York

Total residential real estate value: $2.8 trillion

Median home value: $501,000 

Country equivalent, GDP: United Kingdom, $2.7 trillion

Company equivalent, market value: Apple + Microsoft, $2.8 trillion 

2. Los Angeles

Total residential real estate value: $2.3 trillion

Median home value: $668,000 

Country equivalent, GDP: Italy, $2.1 trillion
Company equivalent, market value: Amazon + Alphabet + AT&T, $2.3 trillion 

3. San Francisco

Total residential real estate value: $1.3 trillion

Median home value: $959,000 

Country equivalent, GDP: Mexico, $1.3 trillion 

Company equivalent, market value: Microsoft, $1.4 trillion 

4. Chicago

Total residential real estate value: $906 billion

Median home value: $245,000 

Country equivalent, GDP: Netherlands, $902 billion

Company equivalent, market value: Alphabet, $994 billion 

5. Washington, D.C.

Total residential real estate value: $826 billion

Median home value: $455,000 

Country equivalent, GDP: Saudi Arabia, $779 billion 

Company equivalent, market value: Microsoft, $994 billion

Methodology

To determine the total value of cities, LendingTree looked at home value figures pulled in January 2020 from the My LendingTree property value database. The database includes estimated home values for more than 155 million properties in the U.S. based on public tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data, as well as proprietary local data used to power home financing recommendations for My LendingTree users. The total value of real estate in metropolitan areas in the database was $32.6 trillion, close to the Federal Reserve’s estimate of total residential real estate value of $32.9 trillion. GDP data was taken from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook published in October 2019. Stock market values were pulled in February 2020 from S&P.

Top 50 cities ranked by value

1New York$2,838$501,000Apple Inc + Microsoft CorpUnited Kingdom
2Los Angeles$2,289$668,000Amazon.com Inc + Alphabet IncItaly
3San Francisco$1,320$959,000Microsoft CorpMexico
4Chicago$906$245,000Alphabet IncNetherlands
5Washington, D.C.$826$455,000Alphabet IncSaudi Arabia
6Boston$815$498,000Alphabet IncSaudi Arabia
7Miami$774$297,000Facebook IncSaudi Arabia
8Seattle$700$498,000Facebook IncSwitzerland
9Dallas$628$243,000Facebook IncTaiwan
10Philadelphia$577$246,000Facebook IncTaiwan
11San Jose, Calif.$568$1,100,000Berkshire Hathaway IncPoland
12San Diego$564$594,000Berkshire Hathaway IncPoland
13Houston$535$211,000Berkshire Hathaway IncThailand
14Atlanta$531$227,000Berkshire Hathaway IncThailand
15Riverside, Calif.$485$365,000JPMorgan Chase & CoIran
16Phoenix$484$276,000JPMorgan Chase & CoIran
17Denver$439$430,000JPMorgan Chase & CoArgentina
18Minneapolis$383$294,000Johnson & JohnsonIreland
19Detroit$348$172,000Mastercard IncDenmark
20Portland, Ore.$319$401,000Walmart IncBangladesh
21Sacramento, Calif.$318$410,000Procter & Gamble Co/TheBangladesh
22Baltimore$301$284,000Bank of America CorpEgypt
23Tampa, Fla.$286$216,000Intel CorpPakistan
24Austin, Texas$248$323,000Coca-Cola Co/TheCzech Republic
25Charlotte, N.C$248$223,000Coca-Cola Co/TheCzech Republic
26Orlando, Fla.$233$245,000Merck & Co IncPortugal
27Honolulu$219$705,000Merck & Co IncGreece
28Nashville, Tenn.$209$265,000Pfizer IncNew Zealand
29St. Louis$202$162,000Chevron CorpNew Zealand
30Las Vegas$191$278,000Wells Fargo & CoQatar