In a year that saw soaring real estate prices across the nation, Beverly Hills’ iconic 90210 is the most expensive zip code in Los Angeles County and the sixth most expensive in the country, according to new data released by real estate data firm Property Shark. For the first time in history, 2021 saw the median price of the top 10 most expensive zip codes exceed $4 million.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Rayni Williams, owner of the real estate firm Beverly Hills Estates told the Courier. Williams and her partner Branden Williams have sold more than $8.6 billion in real estate.
“Beverly Hills 90210 is the most desirable neighborhood for safety, beauty, the protection of historical elements, and schools, fire, [and] police. You name it. It’s the best place in the world to live.”
Property Shark’s data relies on median home sale prices, not listing prices, to present a more accurate picture of real market conditions.
The 90210 zip code fell in the ranking from 2020, when it ranked as the third priciest zip code in the nation, tying with Santa Monica with a median sale price of $3,750,000. But with surging home prices, even as it fell in the rankings, 90210 saw its median sale price rise to $4,125,000.
Similarly, while Santa Monica’s median price rose to $4,058,000, it fell to number 8 in the report.
“Beverly Hills has always been a hot market, it will always be a hot market,” said Williams.
Williams pointed to the data as evidence that, despite a year marked by headline-grabbing crimes in the city, home buyers still perceive the city as safe.
“It hasn’t dampened the market,” she said. “What people that live in Beverly Hills know is that, first of all, crime right now is happening everywhere. But if you come to Beverly Hills and commit a crime, you get caught.”
Beverly Hills actually claimed two zip codes in the top 100 most expensive places to live. The 90212 came in at number 43 with a median sale price of $2,429,000.
Los Angeles as a county is the most expensive county in the country, with 21 of the costly zip codes in the U.S., according to the data. Below the 90210, Malibu’s 90265 and the Pacific Palisades’ 90272 tie for number 21 with a median price of $3.25 million. The 90077 zip code, which covers Bel Air, Holmby Hills and areas of Beverly Glenn was the 42nd most pricey zip code nationally.
The reason for Beverly Hills’ supremacy over its tony peers is simple for Williams: location. Beverly Hills checks the three essential boxes of live, work, and play. “Everything from health and wellness, to beauty, to real businesses are here in Beverly Hills,” she said. “Foreigners come to me and they say how close is this to Rodeo Drive and is this 90210?”
The rising cost in home ownership coincides with the county’s unprecedented homeless crisis–a fact that goes beyond correlation, experts say. In its June 2020 report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority calculated 66,436 unhoused people in its annual homeless count, a 12.7 percent rise from the year before. A 2018 report by the UCLA Anderson School of Economics found that “[h]igh housing prices, high rent, and low household income explain why some states have a higher rate of homelessness.”