America's richest people buy homes in 'power markets' - here are the 17 most expensive and exclusive places

Malibu beach house

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Rich people buy luxury real estate in 'power markets," where they flock to multi-million-dollar properties.

  • Luxury real estate "power markets" are the places where rich people spend the most money, says a new report from Coldwell Banker.
  • Rich people flock to power markets for the best in luxury real estate, lifestyle, and culture.
  • Power markets in the US are places where the top 5% of home sales by price is the highest.

Location is paramount when money is no object, whether a home is steps from the beach, tucked in the mountains, or in the heart of a city.
The world's rich people spent $8 billion on luxury real estate in 2016, according to Wealth-X, and they flock to many of the same cities to buy property.

In a new report on luxury real estate by Coldwell Banker, these places are called "power markets," where the "wealthiest and most powerful players" tend to own homes.

"Typically, these areas are destinations in their own right, offering high-net-worth individuals a range of lifestyle opportunities, cultural experiences, and educational opportunities," the report says.

The report defines power markets in the US as places where the top 5% of single-family home sales by price is highest. In the top 17 markets, the median list price for the top 5% of sales is at least $3.5 million.

Below, check out which cities are most popular among wealthy homebuyers. For each place, we've included the median list price for the top 5% of homes currently on the market, the highest sold price from 2017, and the median price per square foot for that market.All data figures are for single-family homes and were provided by Coldwell Banker and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.