The rich have always liked to live near other rich. It's what F. Scott Fitzgerald referred to as the "consoling proximity of millionaires."
But with the housing recovery and global wealth now in full swing, the nation's richest ZIP codes just seem to be getting richer.
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A new report shows that Beverly Hills is still the top ZIP code in America when it comes to the number of homes selling for $10 million or more. There were 21 homes sold at $10 million or more between January 2012 and December 2012, the latest period measured.
The new Luxury Market Report from Coldwell Banker Previews International found that Aspen, Colo., ranked second, with 16 sales, followed by Montecito, Calif., with 15.
The rankings are for ZIP codes, not cities. Ranking cities by sales of $10 million or more, New York ranked first with 71 sales. Manhattan was followed by Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, both with 21.
When it comes to the ZIP code with the largest number of listings, Malibu ranks first. There were 65 listings at $10 million or more in Malibu in March. Beverly Hills ranked second with 58, followed by Aspen with 54.
In 2012, there were over 200 sales in the top 15 ZIP codes for homes priced at $10 million or more.
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And the pace shows little sign of slowing. Realtors expect the very top end of the real estate market to continue to shatter local price records. With recent news of a property trading near San Francisco for more than $100 million, the new top price in America may be reset in 2013.
"With the increasingly global nature of today's ultra-luxury market, it is hard to imagine that a $200 million sale would not be possible in the near future," the report said. As Laurent Demeure, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Previews France and Monaco says; "Today's ultra-affluent buyers can choose almost any property they want, whether it's a penthouse in South beach, a house in Monaco or a waterfront estate in Malibu."
On price, he says, "there is no limit except imagination."