The most expensive places to live will also be the most expensive places to buy a house. These areas all share certain characteristics, such as a growing business community that attracts more people and creates denser populations. In expensive cities, expect to find a higher cost of living. This means that everything from coffee to healthcare will be more expensive. It costs more to furnish a home, commute to work and own clothing. However, people flock to these cities for a reason. They promise jobs, cultural experiences and opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else. Providing an idea of just how costly owning a house can be, here are the top five most expensive cities in the United States as of 2012.

 

1. Manhattan, New York

Wall Street and the stock exchange attract a lot of attention. Manhattan currently houses 1.6 million people who take part in the financially, commercially and culturally driven life of the city. With a cost of living that is more than double the nation’s average, it is no surprise that Manhattan is the most expensive location to buy a new home. The city is both the most costly and densely populated area in the United States. The average listing price of Manhattan homes is around two million dollars. However, houses are usually sold for half of this amount, going for just above one million dollars.

 

2. San Francisco, California

Tourism is the backbone of San Francisco’s economy and has created the most expensive city on the west coast. Like Manhattan, San Francisco homes are listed in the ballpark of two million dollars. Unlike Manhattan, homes in San Francisco usually sell for around 600,000 dollars instead of one million. San Francisco’s housing market is up two percent from last year.

 

 

3. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital constantly attracts new business and more people. Trade unions, embassies and different headquarters provide an increasing number of businesses and professional jobs. Recent financial struggles brought D.C.’s housing market down. It, also, sent 12 percent of homeowners into monetary struggles. However, the market is up by 15 percent since last year and the average asking price is usually around 800,000 dollars. Following the trend, houses in D.C. usually sell at half the median list price.

 

4. Stamford, Connecticut

Right next to the capital, Stamford offers the same job opportunities and busy atmosphere of D.C. This area boasts the nation’s highest income ratio and runs off of producing transportation equipment and agricultural produce. However, like DC, a percentage of Stamford’s home owners are suffering from the recent recession. This has lead to an 18 percent drop in average sale prices since last year. Stamford homes are usually sold for around 400,000 dollars and have a listing price hovering around 700,000 dollars.

 

5. Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City makes its money off of pharmaceuticals and chemical development. The homes in Jersey City have an average listing price of around 300,000 dollars. However, the average size of Jersey City home is comparable to the basement of a townhouse. Based on an average cost that is determined by size, this is one of the most expensive cities to live.

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