The most expensive real estate market in the U.S.

  • (MoneyWatch) It's one of the fundamental truths of real estate: Home prices and desirability are all about location, location, location. According to recent data from Coldwell Banker, there's a $1.6 million price difference between similar homes in the nation's most expensive real estate market, Los Altos, Calif. and the most affordable, Redford, Mich.

    The average list price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Los Altos is $1,706,688, while the average price for a similar home in Redford is listed at $60,490. Nationwide, the average list price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is $292,152.

    "The success of many of our native tech companies has shined a spotlight on Silicon Valley and our real estate market in the San Francisco Bay area," Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Bay area, said in a press release. "Listing prices in our market are a product of ongoing high demand, projected population growth and the low inventory levels of homes in what is one of the most desirable locations to live."

    Tech giants Google, Apple and Facebook are all located within 15 minutes of Los Altos, as is Stanford University.

    Not surprisingly, coastal states are home to the majority of the country's most expensive markets in the country -- all of the top five most expensive real estate markets are in California. Here's a look at what the average price gets you in those markets.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.