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California Ranks Among Nation's Most Expensive Markets For Active Adult Home Buyers

July 22, 2004

While California remains among the most expensive states for homeowners ages 55 to 74, Pitkin County, Colo., tops the list of U.S. counties with the highest average active adult home values, according to an analysis of 2000 U.S. Census data by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Pitkin County, best known for Aspen and its world-class ski resorts, ranked No. 1 in the nation, with an average home value of $946,036 for the 1,275 homes occupied by active adults.

Pitkin was followed by New York County, N.Y., which had an average home value of $829,631 for its 42,844 homes owned by active adults. Teton County, Wyo., was next with an average home value of $650,526 for its 1,306 homes.

Ten of the top 25 most expensive counties in the country were in California, led by Marin County, Calif., in fourth place (22,212 homes, $616,915 average home value) and San Mateo County, Calif., in fifth (49,245 homes, $570,032 average home value).

In all, 16 counties had average active adult home values of more than $400,000. The averages were computed by dividing the aggregate value of homes owned by the number of homes. Home values are based on owners’ estimates of how much their homes would sell for at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census.

"The highest-priced counties are generally in resort areas near mountains or on islands, where the supply of land is severely limited by geography,” said Bonnie Solomon, chair of the NAHB Seniors Housing Council and a vice president of several retirement communities in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., and Atlanta. "The others are in parts of the country known for extremely high housing costs, such as California and New York.”

The chart below shows U.S. counties with the most high-priced active adult communities:

  County Homes Occupied
By Owners
Ages 55-74
Average Dollar
Value of
Homes Owned

1.

Pitkin County, Colo.

 1,275 $946,036

2.

New York County, N.Y.

42,844 $829,631

3.

Teton County, Wyo.

1,306 $650,526

4.

Marin County, Calif.

22,212 $616,915

5.

San Mateo County, Calif.

49,245 $570,032

6.

Blaine County, Idaho

1,610 $563,135

7.

Eagle County, Colo.

 1,754 $557,651

8.

Santa Clara County, Calif. 

96,966 $556,947

9.

San Francisco County, Calif.

35,479 $468,943

10.

San Juan County, Calif.

1,867 $460,011

11.

Santa Cruz County, Calif.

15,367 $452,229

12.

Dukes County, Mass.

 1,409 $451,880

13.

Summit County, Colo.

 1,011 $446,196

14.

Santa Barbara County, Calif.

25,778 $412,658

15.

Fairfield County, Conn.

68,403 $402,814

16.

Westchester County, N.Y.

66,293  $401,859

17.

Monterey County, Calif.

21,266 $390,511

18.

Summit County, Utah

1,639 $390,161

19.

Napa County, Calif.

9,794 $361,977

20.

Honolulu County, Hawaii

54,951 $357,605

21.

Contra Costa, Calif.

68,619 $351,144

22.

Alameda County, Calif.

 80,843 $345,653

23.

Orange County, Calif.

 168,970 $342,763

24.

Alexandria City, Va.

6,821 $341,332

25.

Monroe County, Fla.

8,569 $340,877



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