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The town-and-country lifestyle is often depicted as simple, idyllic and inexpensive compared to big-city living — especially when it comes to housing costs. But is this accurate?

To look at how costly buying a house in a town can get, LendingTree analyzed housing data to find the 50 U.S. micropolitan areas — which we refer to in this study as “towns” — with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 that had the most expensive median home values. Many towns across the country are chock-full of expensive real estate, with home values that rival — and, in some cases, exceed — those found in major metropolitan areas.

In raw dollars, Vineyard Haven, Mass., Jackson, Wyo., and Breckenridge, Colo., are the towns with the most expensive real estate in the U.S. The median home values in these towns are $857,600, $670,100 and $641,900, respectively. 

Relative to income, homes in Vineyard Haven, Jackson and Hailey, Idaho, are the most expensive. In these areas, median home values are an average of 8.57 times higher than the median area household incomes.

Of the towns in our study, homes are the least expensive relative to income in Evanston, Wyo., Los Alamos, N.M., and Rock Springs, Wyo. The median home value in these areas is an average of 2.72 times higher than the median area household income

You can check out our full report here: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/most-expensive-towns-in-america/

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:

"Unfortunately, high housing costs can be very difficult for many small town residents to deal with. This is especially true in areas that are popular vacation destinations - like most of the towns that populate the higher end of our study’s ranking - where buyers who earn their money elsewhere and only live in a town part time can afford to outspend an area’s full-time residents.” 

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