Larry Page may have no plans to retire in Boca Raton, Florida. But if he wanted to, he could afford any house in town—in fact, every house in town.
A new analysis from Redfin, a real-estate brokerage and search site, looked at the towns or cities that certain billionaires could buy. They paired the fortunes of each billionaire with the cost of all of the homes in various cities and towns.
The Walton family, with a combined fortune of $111.5 billion, could buy all 241,450 homes in the city of Seattle. That calculation doesn't include surrounding towns and suburbs, so they wouldn't get Bill Gates' house in suburban Medina.
But Gates could buy Boston. His $76.6 billion fortune could buy all 114,212 homes in Beantown. His pal Warren Buffett could no doubt buy a couple of Omahas, but he could also buy Charlotte, North Carolina, with its 280,214 homes valued at $56 billion.
"The two things everybody talks about are rich people and real estate," said Nela Richardson, Redfin's chief economist. "So we thought it would be interesting to pair them."
She said the study reveals just how large today's fortunes have become—especially when compared to the entire housing stock of certain towns and cities.