As of 2017, Palo Alto is ranked as the 6th most expensive city in the U.S. North of Oregon Expressway is filled with older homes, including Craftsman and California Colonials, some of which date back to the 1890s but most of which were built in the first four decades of the 20th century. South of Oregon Expressway, the homes, including many Joseph Eichler-designed or Eichler-style houses, were primarily built in the first 20 years after World War II.
While the city contains homes that now cost anywhere from $800,000 to well in excess of $40 million, much of Palo Alto's housing stock is in the style of California mid-century middle-class suburbia. It has highly rated public schools, a high quality of life, numerous parks and open space reserves, and a vibrant downtown area. University Avenue and California Avenue anchor two distinct downtown districts with many fine restaurants, hotels and boutiques. Some of our favorite restaurants are Evvia and Tamarine on University Avenue and Terun and Bistro Elan on California Avenue.
A primary driver of housing market values in Palo Alto is the political climate that is restricting new development in a city with a large jobs-to-housing imbalance and some of the most attractive jobs in the country. In addition, Palo Alto schools test at some of the highest levels in the Bay Area. Palo Alto is by some measures the most expensive college town in the United States.
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