We all know the old real estate adage, “location, location, location.” But if I were to tell you that a certain location could be worth as much as $1.9 million dollars, or that you could buy 30 homes in one location for the price of one in another, would you believe me?

Well, according to the 2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Home Listing Report, a prime location is worth just that! $1.9 million is the difference between the most expensive and most affordable markets in the United States. The report compares four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes of a similar size across nearly 2,000 cities and Los Altos, California, earns its second consecutive title of being the most expensive real estate market in the country, with an average price of $1,963,100. This is six times the national average in this report ($295,317) and 30 times the cost of a home in the country’s most affordable market, Cleveland ($64,993).

So why the huge premium to live in Los Altos? For starters, it goes back to location. Los Altos is conveniently located just 40 miles south of San Francisco, five miles south of Stanford University and 15 miles north of San Jose, allowing residents easily navigate between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. And there’s no overlooking the effect of the latest tech boom.

“The continued success of many tech companies throughout Silicon Valley has brought markets such as Los Altos into focus,” said Joe Brown, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Los Altos.

Originally an agricultural town, Los Altos is now an affluent bedroom community with several distinctive features that strive to maintain a semi-rural atmosphere: few sidewalks, broad dirt shoulders on the roads and little or no street lighting. Many commercial and building restrictions keep the tech and corporate presence driving up the real estate prices largely outside of city limits. The six-block downtown is situated as a triangle, allowing most through traffic to bypass the area, creating a walkable, village atmosphere. The tree-lined streets house more than 150, mostly independently owned, shops, cafes and restaurants. You can grab a bite, purchase a gift, peruse the farmers’ market, catch an outdoor summer movie or enjoy a cup of coffee all within a few blocks.

“Los Altos is such a special place because you get a small town feeling while being right next door to some of the most successful technology companies in the world,” said Brown. “Plus, the weather can’t be beat. People who live here can’t imagining living anywhere else.”

For those drawn to California’s coastlines, and particularly Los Altos, one thing is clear—there is a place to call home for everyone, but it comes with a price tag (30 times more than Cleveland, to be exact). And it doesn’t stop there—According to the 2014 Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report, nine out of the top ten most expensive cities in the real estate housing market are in California.

The Top 10 Most Expensive Real Estate Housing Markets in the 2014 Coldwell Banker® Home Listing Report are: 

  • Los Altos, CA | $1,963,100
  • Newport Beach, CA | $1,904,083
  • Saratoga, CA |  $1,867,980
  • Redwood City/Woodside, CA | $1,430,329
  • Los Gatos, CA | $1,307,408
  • San Francisco, CA | $1,294,250
  • Sunnyvale, CA | $1,267,185
  • Moraga, CA | $1,129,300
  • San Mateo, CA | $1,093,346
  • Wellesley, MA | $1,090,089

It looks like the golden state is living up to its name!