Most Expensive Small Towns 2012

  1. No. 20 Most Expensive Small Town: Old Westbury, N.Y.
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    No. 20 Most Expensive Small Town: Old Westbury, N.Y.

    County*: Nassau
    Population*: 5,289
    Median home value*: $1,501,800
    YOY Change*: +0.2%
    Five-year Annualized Change*: -2.7%

    This wealthy Long Island village, home to SUNY College at Old Westbury, has median household income of $203,125, according to Census Bureau estimates from 2006 to 2010. The U.S. average was $51,914.

    * Data on all slides from Zillow.com. The ranking is based on median home values among towns with populations smaller than 10,000 in December 2011, the most recent data available. The December home values are noted in each slide.

    Photograph by Getty Images
  2. No. 19 Most Expensive Small Town: Old Brookville, N.Y.
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    No. 19 Most Expensive Small Town: Old Brookville, N.Y.

    County: Nassau
    Population: 2,154
    Median home value: $1,512,000
    YOY Change: -4.1%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -3.3%

    Among the million dollar homes for sale in Old Brookville are many classic estates and mansions, according to real estate company Piping Rock Associates. Many homes on large lots have tennis courts and pools; some multi-acre properties have horse stables, gardens, and separate guest homes.

    Photograph by Paul Viant/Getty Images

  3. No. 18 Most Expensive Small Town: Upper Brookville, N.Y.
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    No. 18 Most Expensive Small Town: Upper Brookville, N.Y.

    County: Nassau
    Population: 1,817
    Median home value: $1,516,700
    YOY Change: -3.7%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -3.9%

    Long Island's Upper Brookville has its share of large homes: Most have more than five bedrooms and about 93 percent of all homes are worth more than $1 million, according to census figures. The village also has many old estates. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, about 15 percent of homes in the area were built in 1939 or earlier.

    Photograph by Getty Images
  4. No. 17 Most Expensive Small Town: Monte Sereno, Calif.
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    No. 17 Most Expensive Small Town: Monte Sereno, Calif.

    County: Santa Clara
    Population: 2,994
    Median home value: $1,565,600
    YOY Change: -3.6%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -1.7%

    Monte Sereno lies in southwestern Santa Clara County, at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains between Saratoga and the town of Los Gatos. Wooded hillsides, grand estates, and good schools have attracted many Silicon Valley executives to the area, according to the city.

    Photograph by: Frank Chen/Getty Images
  5. No. 16 Most Expensive Small Town: Quogue, N.Y.
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    No. 16 Most Expensive Small Town: Quogue, N.Y.

    County: Suffolk
    Population: 285
    Median home value: $1,575,400
    YOY Change: +0.1%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -4.8%

    Home to the 305-acre Quogue Wildlife Refuge, Quogue is a tiny village with a population of only 285. It is known for tree-lined streets with Victorian mansions and exquisitely manicured lawns, as well as some modern beachfront homes on Dune Road, according to real estate company Corcoran.

    Photograph by Martin Adolfsson/Gallerystock
  6. No. 15 Most Expensive Small Town: Fisher Island, Fla.
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    No. 15 Most Expensive Small Town: Fisher Island, Fla.

    County: Miami-Dade
    Population: 585
    Median home value: $1,605,100
    YOY Change: +8.9%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -7.0%

    Households of this wealthy island, part of metropolitan Miami, earn a median income of more than $250,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Condos make up a majority of the homes on Fisher Island and start at about $500,000, while mansions start at about $3 million, according to real estate firm Luxury Living Realty.

    Photograph by James Randklev/Getty Images
  7. No. 14 Most Expensive Small Town: East Hampton, N.Y.
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    No. 14 Most Expensive Small Town: East Hampton, N.Y.

    County: Suffolk
    Population: 1,091
    Median home value: $1,624,600
    YOY Change: -8.8%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -4.2%

    "Living here means knocking elbows with celebrities from the arts, business, and politics," according to Corcoran.com. The town is also know for its shopping area on Main Street, which has such stores as Coach (COH) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF).

    Photograph by Charly Kurz/laif/Redux
  8. No. 13 Most Expensive Small Town: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
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    No. 13 Most Expensive Small Town: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

    County: San Diego
    Population: 5,166
    Median home value: $1,687,200
    YOY Change: -2.4%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -4.5%

    Rancho Santa Fe has many options for those who love golf and equestrian sports. There are a number of golf courses, including the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, the Bridges, and the Crosby, according to ranchosantafe-homes.com, as well as thoroughbred racing at the Del Mar Race Track. Residents also can enjoy trail riding on bridle paths.

    Photograph by Andrew Hetherington/Redux
  9. No. 12 Most Expensive Small Town: Deal, N.J.
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    No. 12 Most Expensive Small Town: Deal, N.J.

    County: Monmouth
    Population: 731
    Median home value: $1,712,700
    YOY Change: -10.4%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -2.9%

    The seaside town of Deal has mansions, good restaurants, and well-kept beaches, according to newjerseyshore.com. Deal is largely a seasonal community, and nearly 60 percent of housing units are for recreational use, according to Census Bureau estimates.

    Photograph by Neil Beckerman/Getty Images
  10. No. 11 Most Expensive Small Town: Loyola, Calif.
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    No. 11 Most Expensive Small Town: Loyola, Calif.

    County: Santa Clara
    Population: 2,891
    Median home value: $1,743,800
    YOY Change: +6.1%
    Five-year Annualized Change: +0.2%

    Loyola is a wealthy Silicon Valley community near Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Average household income here is $248,106, the Census Bureau estimates.

    Photograph by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
  11. No. 10 Most Expensive Small Town: Sands Point, N.Y.
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    No. 10 Most Expensive Small Town: Sands Point, N.Y.

    County: Nassau
    Population: 3,269
    Median home value: $1,773,700
    YOY Change: +0.4%
    Five-year Annualized Change: +1.8%

    Sands Point, a Long Island community about 25 miles from Manhattan, is a residential village zoned for single-family homes only. The only non-residential establishments are houses of worship, schools, the Village Club, a nature preserve, a private golf club, and the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, according to the village.

    Photograph by Siri Stafford/Getty Images
  12. No. 9 Most Expensive Small Town: Montecito, Calif.
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    No. 9 Most Expensive Small Town: Montecito, Calif.

    County: Santa Barbara
    Population: 7,525
    Median home value: $1,790,700
    YOY Change: -9.3%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -2.4%

    Montecito, east of Santa Barbara, has magnificent estates owned by celebrities and executives, but maintains a small village feel. Some of the larger homes hidden from public view offer a great deal of privacy, and many estates have ocean, mountain, or city views, according to the Zia Group, a real estate company.

    Photograph by Getty Images
  13. No. 8 Most Expensive Small Town: Woodside, Calif.
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    No. 8 Most Expensive Small Town: Woodside, Calif.

    County: San Mateo
    Population: 5,614
    Median home value: $1,810,100
    YOY Change: -4.0%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -3.0%

    Equestrian culture is part of the lifestyle in Woodside, which has horse trails, a horse park, and a group called the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association. The town's average household income is $316,019, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

    Photograph by AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
  14. No. 7 Most Expensive Small Town: Hidden Hills, Calif.
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    No. 7 Most Expensive Small Town: Hidden Hills, Calif.

    County: Los Angeles
    Population: 1,351
    Median home value: $1,903,700
    YOY Change: -9.4%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -6.9%

    The town of Hidden Hills has been home to such celebrities as Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, who listed their home last year for about $13 million, Zillow.com reported. The average household in Hidden Hills has an income of $383,731, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 2006 to 2010.

    Photograph by Rod Morata/Getty Images
  15. No. 6 Most Expensive Small Town: Kings Point, N.Y.
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    No. 6 Most Expensive Small Town: Kings Point, N.Y.

    County: Nassau
    Population: 5,090
    Median home value: $1,914,700
    YOY Change: -2.9%
    Five-year Annualized Change: 0%

    Kings Point, on Long Island's North Shore, is home to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. According to a description by Laffey Fine Homes, the town has a park overlooking Long Island Sound with a marina that has mooring facilities, sailing courses, a boat ramp, and fishing dock. Residents also have access to miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails.

    Photograph by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times via Redux
  16. No. 5 Most Expensive Small Town: Belvedere, Calif.
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    No. 5 Most Expensive Small Town: Belvedere, Calif.

    County: Marin
    Population: 2,079
    Median home value: $1,919,700
    YOY Change: -4.7%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -0.6%

    This hilly city, surrounded on three sides by the waters of San Francisco Bay, offers views of San Francisco, Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, and Mt. Tamalpais, according to the city. Nearly 80 percent of homes in Belvedere were built before 1970, including one-fourth built in 1939 or earlier, according to Census Bureau data.

    Photograph by: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  17. No. 4 Most Expensive Small Town: Water Mill, N.Y.
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    No. 4 Most Expensive Small Town: Water Mill, N.Y.

    County: Suffolk
    Population: 2,076
    Median home value: $2,080,100
    YOY Change: +0.1%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -2.3%

    A haven for wealthy New Yorkers, Water Mill offers residents three beaches---Flying Point, Mecox, and Dead End---and wooded areas such as the 148-acre Laurel Valley Country Park, according to Corcoran.

    Photograph by Getty Images
  18. No. 3 Most Expensive Small Town: Los Altos Hills, Calif.
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    No. 3 Most Expensive Small Town: Los Altos Hills, Calif.

    County: Santa Clara
    Population: 7,445
    Median home value: $2,164,500
    YOY Change: +5.6%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -0.5%

    Los Altos Hills, once a summer destination for wealthy San Franciscans, is now a year-round community. Today, only about 1.7 percent of homes there are for seasonal use, according to U.S. Census Bureau 2010 estimates. Many homes in this Silicon Valley community have views over the area's hills. The town has large parks, preserves, and open space, as well as paths for pedestrians, bicyclists, and horseback riders.

    Photograph by Peter DaSilva/The New York Times via Redux
  19. No. 2 Most Expensive Small Town: Jupiter Island, Fla.
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    No. 2 Most Expensive Small Town: Jupiter Island, Fla.

    County: Martin
    Population: 1,549
    Median home value: $2,609,600
    YOY Change: -9.0%
    Five-year Annualized Change: +20.8%

    Jupiter Island has been home to golfers Greg Norman, Nick Price, and Tiger Woods, as well as singers Celine Dion and Alan Jackson, according to jupiterisland.com. Located on a barrier island, the area is also a home for wildlife: Sea turtles nest in the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Photograph by: Macduff Everton/Getty Images
  20. No. 1 Most Expensive Small Town: Sagaponack, N.Y.
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    No. 1 Most Expensive Small Town: Sagaponack, N.Y.

    County: Suffolk
    Population: 683
    Median home value: $3,492,100
    YOY Change: -10.2%
    Five-year Annualized Change: -2.1%

    Sagaponack maintains its position as the country's No. 1 most-expensive small town. The elite pay top dollar to live in this quiet and sparsely populated village and, according to Corcoran.com, many are drawn to its shingled mansions on large, open plots. Famous estates include billionaire Ira Rennert's 66,000 sq. ft. mansion, one of the largest homes in the U.S. Sagaponack's residents have included musician Billy Joel; Henry Silverman, vice chairman and director of Apollo Global Management (APO); and former Kinray chief executive Stewart Rahr.

    Photograph by John Lei/The New York Times via Redux