'Million-dollar ZIP codes' are on the rise — and it could spell trouble for America's homeownership rate

The US housing market has recovered from the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis by at least one metric.

Today, more than one in 25 ZIP codes in America could be called a "million-dollar ZIP." That's 172 more than at the housing-market peak in 2007.

Zillow defines million-dollar ZIPs as areas where at least 10% of the homes are worth $1 million or more.

"It's a sign of the times that over half the housing stock in the US has regained value since the housing bust, and many markets are more expensive than they've ever been," Zillow's chief economist Svenja Gudell told Business Insider.

Home prices have surged across the country in response to stagnant housing supply. Coupled with slow wage growth, homeownership is no longer within reach for many Americans, especially millennials. As of July, the national homeownership rate was just under 64%, and even lower in many coastal markets, where million-dollar ZIPs abound.

"It shows how tough it is to break into the market as a buyer. Even though mortgage rates are so low, the down payment on a $1 million home is hard to save for," Gudell said. "Millennials are trying to break into these homeownership markets because the jobs are there, and they're having a hard time."

The average home value in a million-dollar ZIP was $900,584 in May, nearly 4.5 times the national home value of $200,400.

Here's the most expensive zip code in every state
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Here's the most expensive zip code in every state

50. South Dakota: 57033

  • City: Hartford
  • Median home value: $225,300

A suburb just west of Sioux Falls, Hartford is a small community of just under 3,000 residents. Its proximity to the larger city of Sioux Falls means there are potentially more job opportunities for Hartford residents. This zip code also offers relative affordability, with median home values of $225,300, about 4.5 times the median household income in South Dakota as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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49. Mississippi: 39110

  • City: Madison
  • Median home value: $238,800

The 39110 zip code is located north of Jackson, Miss., and includes several Madison neighborhoods as well as portions of adjacent cities Canton and Flora. The Annandale and Mannsdale neighborhoods are the priciest of this zip code. All of Madison, however, offers a safe environment with crime rates well below the national median, according to neighborhood data aggregator NeighborhoodScout.com.

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48. Wyoming: 82009

  • City: Cheyenne
  • Median home value: $246,200

The 82009 zip code is a slice of suburbia that includes parts of Cheyenne and surrounding areas north of the state's largest city. Wyoming has a relatively high median income ― $57,406 ― which means most households in this state could potentially afford homes in this zip code.

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47. West Virginia: 25442

  • City: Shenandoah Junction
  • Median home value: $280,000

In West Virginia, the priciest zip code includes Shenandoah Junction and bordering town Harpers Ferry, less than two hours northwest of Washington, D.C. The closest major city to this zip code is Martinsburg, W.V., although Frederick and Hagerstown are also nearby. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, neighborhoods within this zip code are peaceful, quiet and ideal for retirees.

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46. Nebraska: 68526

  • City: Lincoln
  • Median home value: $284,700

This suburb of Lincoln, Neb., is a popular place for wealthy professionals, executives and managers to live, according to NeighborhoodScout.com. Homes in this zip code also tend to be newer and built after 1999. This zip code is also home to one golf course and less than a mile from two others.

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45. Maine: 04562

  • City: Phippsburg
  • Median home value: $285,400

With plenty of waterfront property, this coastal zip code includes the town of Phippsburg, a small artists' enclave that's a popular vacation spot. In fact, many of the homes in Phippsburg are second or vacation homes of the wealthy, according to NeighborhoodScout.com. As one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the state, it might be out of reach financially for most Maine residents. The median home value in this area is too high to be affordable for a household earning the state's median income of $48,453.

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44. Arkansas: 72223

  • City: Little Rock
  • Median home value: $310,000

The community in this zip code is a suburb of Little Rock that's just a short commute west of the city with households that earn upper-middle-class to upper-class incomes, and they have to in order to afford the high-value homes in the area. Affording a home priced at the median value would require an annual income of at least $60,000, which is 34 percent higher than Little Rock's median household income of $44,896.

Read: Best and Worst States to Retire Rich

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43. Idaho: 83616

  • City: Eagle
  • Median home value: $326,000

Eagle is a suburb of Boise northwest of the state capital and also home to some of the highest incomes in the state. Although Idaho's median household income is just $46,767, Eagle households earn 73 percent more ― a median income of $80,788 ― according to U.S. Census data, making homes easily affordable for those who live here.

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42. North Dakota: 58503

  • City: Bismarck
  • Median home value: $328,700

North Dakota's most expensive zip code includes suburban neighborhoods north of Bismarck. People in Bismarck earn a median household income of $54,969, but people living in the 58503 zip code likely have higher incomes to afford the area's homes, which are 65 percent higher than the median home value for the state of $198,800, as reported by Zillow.

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41. Iowa: 50061

  • City: Cumming
  • Median home value: $342,300

Less than 20 miles southwest of Des Moines' city center, Iowa's most expensive zip code includes suburbs like Cumming and Orilla. This neighborhood's homes are worth three times the typical Des Moines home, which has a median value of $113,500 according to Zillow.

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40. Kentucky: 40059

  • City: Prospect
  • Median home value: $350,900

Kentucky's most expensive zip code consists of suburbs northeast of Louisville and including communities like Prospect and River Bluff. The most expensive neighborhoods in this zip code are among the top 1.7 percent of America's wealthiest communities, and it's not unusual to see luxury cars cruising through the area, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

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39. Louisiana: 70118

  • City: New Orleans
  • Median home value: $374,400

In the heart of New Orleans is Louisiana's richest zip code, which is home to Tulane University and includes neighborhoods like Dixon, Holly Grove, East Carrollton, Black Pearl and Audubon. Properties near Tulane and the waterfront of the Mississippi River have the highest values, and these neighborhoods also include many historic homes that embody the old-world charm of New Orleans.

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38. Montana: 59911

  • City: Bigfork
  • Median home value: $394,100

Montana's highest-value zip code sits on the east shore of Flathead Lake and includes Bigfork and other areas like Bear Dance, Woods Bay and Swan Lake. With plenty of waterfront property on both Flathead Lake and nearby rivers, as well as relative proximity to popular outdoor spots like Glacier National Park, Bigfork is attractive to wealthy people looking for a nature-rich community.

Related: Here Is the Biggest Home for Sale in Every State

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37. Indiana: 46301

  • City: Beverly Shores, Ind.
  • Median home value: $396,600

The 46301 zip code in Indiana covers a small slice of shoreline that includes the resort community of Beverly Shores. Some of the homes in Beverly Shores were actually built as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago for the Homes of Tomorrow exhibit. This area offers a quiet, natural setting and proximity to Lake Michigan beaches.

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36. Oklahoma: 73151

  • City: Oklahoma City
  • Median home value: $405,100

An upper-class residential area northeast of Oklahoma City, the 73151 area code is part of the wealthy Witcher neighborhood, which is in the top 2 percent of U.S. neighborhoods by incomes, according to NeighborhoodScout.com. Homes in this area are over three times more valuable than homes throughout Oklahoma City, which have a median value of $125,700, according to Zillow data.

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35. Wisconsin: 53726

  • City: Madison
  • Median home value: $430,000

Adjacent to the University of Wisconsin and just a few blocks from the Lake Mendota shore, the 53726 zip code has plenty to offer residents. This residential area is located about a mile from Madison's city center and has homes worth more than double the city's median home value of $208,700, as reported by Zillow.

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34. Michigan: 48302

  • City: Bloomfield Hills
  • Median home value: $437,800

Bloomfield Hills is part of the 48301 zip code, a half-hour commute northwest of Detroit's city center. This area is dense with smaller lakes and bodies of water as well as golf courses, and properties bordering either attraction typically have higher prices. Homes in this area are valued about 11.5 times higher than the $37,800 median value for Detroit properties, as reported by Zillow.

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33. Kansas: 66224

  • City:Leawood
  • Median home value:$438,700

Just a half-hour commute south of Kansas City, Mo., this suburban zip code's homes are over four times as expensive as the Kansas City area overall median price, according to Zillow. Even so, these homes are likely affordable for Leawood residents, whose median household income of $135,960 is 2.6 times higher than Kansas' overall median household income of $51,332, according to Census Bureau data.

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32. Alaska: 99516

  • City:Anchorage
  • Median home value:$439,200

Anchorage's 99516 zip code is located on the southern edge of the city, bordering Chugach State Park and the coastline of the Cook Inlet. The area's beautiful views of nature and its proximity to Anchorage ― as close as 10 miles to the city center are part of what makes this area so valuable. Even so, the gap between home values in this zip code and the rest of Anchorage is fairly small: Home values are only 52 percent higher within the 99516 zip code.

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31. Ohio: 45174

  • City:Terrace Park
  • Median home value:$467,600

Ohio's most expensive zip code is the Terrace Park community, which is a suburb just a half-hour east of Cincinnati. This town is bordered on two sides by the Little Miami River, offering some of its residents prime riverfront views. Home values in this area increased rapidly over the course of 2015, up 7.3 percent, and are projected to rise another 4.5 percent in 2016, according to Zillow estimates.

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30. Alabama: 35213

  • City:Mountain Brook
  • Median home value:$480,800

Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham, has the zip code with the state's highest home values, which are nearly eight times higher than the median home value of $60,600 throughout Birmingham reported by Zillow. The incomes in Mountain Brook are also higher, with the median of $131,281, according to Census Bureau data, which is three times the state's median household income of $43,253.

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29. Vermont: 05445

  • City:Charlotte
  • Median home value:$482,600

The 05445 zip code falls in the small town of Charlotte, which is just a half-hour drive south of Burlington, Vt. Charlotte includes homes on the waterfront of Lake Champlain and is where many of Burlington's white-collar, high-earning workers choose to live.

Related: What a Million-Dollar Home Looks Like Around the World

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28. Rhode Island: 02835

  • City:Jamestown
  • Median home value:$529,200

Rhode Island's most expensive zip code covers Jamestown, an island town that offers plenty of coastline and beachfront properties as well as homes with ocean views. Although Rhode Island's homes are fairly valuable overall with a median of $229,100, Jamestown homes are worth 2.3 times more.

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27. Tennessee: 37215

  • City:Nashville
  • Median home value:$564,400

Nashville is famous for its music scene, and its richest zip code is home to a famous landmark of Nashville music: The Bluebird Cafe. The 37215 area is southeast of Nashville's city center and includes the Green Hills neighborhood and Forest Hills. Residents of this area will have to pay a high premium for real estate, but they earn some of the state's highest incomes ― the Forest Hills median household income is $174,531 a year.

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26. Minnesota: 55424

  • City:Edina
  • Median home value:$621,800

The 55424 zip code is a suburb of Minneapolis that includes part of the city of Edina and several wealthy neighborhoods, such as Sunny Slope and Arden Park. Edina itself has a higher median income of $84,349, which is 41 percent higher than the state's median income, and residents of the 55424 zip code likely earn even more to be able to afford the area's high home prices.

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25. New Mexico: 87506

  • City:Santa Fe
  • Median home value:$632,300

North of Santa Fe is this wealthy suburban area making up the 87506 zip code, which also borders the Tesuque Pueblo, Hyde Memorial State Park and Santa Fe National Forest. Residents of neighborhoods in this zip code tend to be highly educated with incomes that put this in the top 2 percent of the richest neighborhoods in the country, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

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24. Nevada: 89451

  • City:Incline Village
  • Median home value:$648,000

Incline Village on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe has the highest real estate prices in the state. This is mostly due to the demand for the area's shorefront property and lake views, as well as properly near ski areas such as Diamond Peak and other area attractions.

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23. Oregon: 97210

  • City:Portland
  • Median home value:$696,000

Northwest Portland has Oregon's highest-value homes in neighborhoods like Willamette Heights, Kings Heights and Bonny Slope. Located adjacent to downtown Portland, one of the best cities for saving money according to a 2015 GOBankingRates study, this area has a high concentration of urban sophisticates, high-earning executives and same-sex couples, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

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22. Delaware: 19807

  • City:Greenville
  • Median home value:$725,500

A suburb of Wilmington, Del., the 19807 zip code is on the border of Delaware and Pennsylvania and includes cities such as Greenville, Westover Hills, Montchanin and Swallow Hill. This area has larger homes, typically with four bedrooms or more, at prices that homeowners would typically need six-figure incomes to afford.

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21. Missouri: 63124

  • City:Ladue
  • Median home value:$774,600

Ladue is a suburb of St. Louis, Mo. and is a short 20-minute commute west of the city center. In the state's most valuable zip code, a typical home is worth well over three-quarters of $1 million. With a local median income of $176,369 in Ladue, according to Census Bureau data, even these high prices are within what could be considered relatively affordable for the residents of this zip code.

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20. North Carolina: 28480

  • City:Wrightsville Beach
  • Median home value:$834,900

Wrightsville Beach in the 28480 zip code is a coastal town that's a short 25-minute commute outside of Wilmington, N.C. With beachfront property and ocean views, this location offers numerous attractions to residents, which is reflected in the area's high home values.

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19. Georgia: 30327

  • City:Atlanta
  • Median home value:$888,000

The 30327 zip code is northwest of Atlanta and includes the area's wealthiest suburban neighborhoods, such as Mt. Paran and Northside, as well as portions of Sandy Springs. Home values are high in this zip code, having risen 4.2 percent in 2015, and are projected by Zillow to increase a further 3.9 percent in 2016.

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18. Utah: 84060

  • City:Park City
  • Median home value:$908,100

Not only is Park City one of the most popular luxury ski spots in the U.S., it's also the home of the Sundance Film Festival, which draws in plenty of movie stars and celebrities each year. In fact, several celebrities like Michael Jordan, Will Smith and Katherine Heigl have purchased Park City homes. Park City properties remain in high demand, with home values jumping 15 percent in 2015 alone, according to Zillow.

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17. Pennsylvania: 19035

  • City:Gladwyne
  • Median home value:$910,400

Gladwyne is a small, wealthy suburb that's about a half-hour's commute northwest of Philadelphia. This neighborhood has a history of old money and continues to be an affluent area with homes typically valued just under $1 million. It's also one of the highest-earning zip codes in the nation, reported CNN Money, which put the median annual income for residents of this area at a $628,939 in 2014.

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16. Maryland: 21405

  • City:Annapolis
  • Median home value:$920,900

The 21405 zip code sits on the edge of the Severn River, a short 20-minute commute northwest of the center of Annapolis ― 40 minutes south of Baltimore ― and includes the community of Sherwood Forest. Demand for these riverfront properties has apparently been high, as home values in this area increased 10.4 percent in in 2015, according to Zillow.

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15. Virginia: 22066

  • City:Great Falls
  • Median home value:$1,064,500

The 22066 zip code runs along the Potomac River and is a suburb about an hour's commute outside of the District of Columbia. This zip code includes the census-designated area of Great Falls and the community of Shady Oak and is home to people with a median household income of $224,930, which is more than 3.5 times the state median income of $63,907.

14. New Hampshire: 03854

  • City:New Castle
  • Median home value:$1,181,900

The New Hampshire island that's home to the state's priciest city of New Castle is located in the mouth of the Piscataqua River just east of Portsmouth, N.H. Demand for New Castle homes has remained high. The area and surrounding communities experienced record-setting sales in December 2015, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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13. Texas: 75205

  • City:Highland Park
  • Median home value:$1,221,800

Because homes in Texas' most expensive zip code are typically valued above $1.2 million, it's not surprising that those who live in the zip code's towns of Highland Park and University Park earn high incomes to match. Highland Park's median household income is $191,422 according to census data, and University Park's median household income is $173,520. A suburb of Dallas, this area is close to Southern Methodist University and the Dallas Country Club.

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12. Hawaii: 96821

  • City:Honolulu
  • Median home value:$1,232,900

The 96821 zip code is a wealthy area just 20 minutes east of Honolulu on Hawaii's third-largest island, Oahu, and includes ritzy communities such as Kahala and Waianae, as well as Hawaii Kai and Kalani Iki. Offering some of the best beachfront properties and ocean views, it's no wonder that the area's homes are valued well over $1 million.

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11. Arizona: 85253

  • City:Paradise Valley
  • Median home value:$1,324,200

Arizona's richest community is Paradise Valley in the 85253 zip code, just north of Scottsdale and just a half-hour drive northeast of Phoenix. Paradise Valley has been home to stars such as former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, boxer Mike Tyson and rock star Alice Cooper, according to The Arizona Republic.

The local median income is $125,880, according to the Census Bureau. Even though these incomes are high, they won't necessarily qualify someone to snag a typical $1.3 million home in this area ― in fact, this median income could likely only afford a home half that price.

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10. South Carolina: 29482

  • City:Sullivan's Island
  • Median home value:$1,476,100

The coastal zip code of 29482 includes the town of Sullivan's Island, just south of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and east of Charleston, which offers plenty of temperate Atlantic oceanfront properties.

Homes here are valued at just under $1.5 million, thanks to a 13.7 percent jump in home values in 2015, as reported by Zillow. Price increases in this area are set to slow but continue at a pace of 4.6 percent in 2016.

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9. Massachusetts: 02535

  • City:Chilmark
  • Median home value:$1,496,000

Located on the famous Martha's Vineyard island, Chilmark is in the 02535 zip code, which is the most expensive in the state. Not even the high-demand prices around Boston can match the value of the luxury homes of Martha's Vineyard, where many of the rich and famous ― such as Spike Lee and the Obama and Clinton families ― live or vacation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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8. Illinois: 60043

  • City:Kenilworth
  • Median home value:$1,511,400

Kenilworth is a town in the 60043 zip code that's about a 50-minute commute north of Chicago's city center and is located on the coast of Lake Michigan. It's also home to the highest earners in Chicago and is one of the richest zip codes in the nation with a 2014 median income of $567,115, according to CNN Money.

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7. Colorado: 81611

  • City:Aspen
  • Median home value:$1,580,100

Aspen is a world-famous ski town known as one of the most popular playgrounds of the rich and famous, and many of the homes in the area are seasonally occupied vacation properties.

With plenty of ski slopes and the beautiful Rocky Mountains to enjoy, Aspen is a popular vacation destination for stars like Rihanna, Kate Hudson and Dakota Johnson. Other famous celebrities have opted to own a home in the area, including Antonio Banderas, David Geffen and Kevin Costner, who gushed that his huge Aspen ranch is "heaven on earth" in an interview with Men's Journal.

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6. Connecticut: 06830

  • City:Greenwich
  • Median home value:$1,614,500

Greenwich is one of the top-earning communities in the U.S., reported CNN Money, with a median income of $511,544. Notable wealthy residents of this zip code have included the late and infamous real estate investor and hotelier Leona Helmsley and former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill.

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5. Washington: 98039

  • City:Medina
  • Median home value:$2,226,300

Medina is a small town located on the coast of Lake Washington, east of Seattle and adjacent to Bellevue, and is a cultured community full of urban sophisticates, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

With plenty of corporate giants located in Seattle ― most notably Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon ― Medina is home to the elite who have gotten rich off of the tech sector. The richest man in the U.S., Bill Gates, owns an expansive Medina mansion that cost $63 million to build and is likely worth twice that now, according to Business Insider. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, also owns a 29,000-square-foot mansion nearby that sits on over five acres of waterfront property, according to Curbed.com.

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4. New Jersey: 07620

  • City:Alpine
  • Median home value:$2,809,300

A suburb of New York City, Alpine sits just across the Hudson River from Yonkers and is a popular spot for professionals who commute into the city. It has numerous multimillion-dollar homes. For example, actor Tracy Morgan bought a $13.9 million, 22-bedroom mansion in 2015, which comes complete with a two-lane bowling alley.

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3. Florida: 33109

  • City:Fisher Island
  • Median home value:$3,212,200

Fisher Island, located just south of Miami Beach, is a small man-made island that was formerly a private retreat for the Vanderbilt family. Today, it largely consists of beachfront condominium complexes.

Fisher Island is also the richest zip code in the nation; Locals' median income of $1.1 million is the highest in the U.S, reported CNN Money, making even $3.2 million homes seem relatively affordable.

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2. New York: 11976

  • City:Water Mill
  • Median home value:$3,320,700

The 11976 zip code includes the city of Water Mill on Long Island and pricey neighborhoods such as Southampton, Sagaponack and Sag Harbor. It's the center of the Hamptons, home to the rich and famous of New York, like late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, who bought a six-bedroom home in Sagaponack for $5.5 million, according to Curbed.com.

Zillow's median home value index prices homes in this area at $3.3 million; however, Forbes puts the 2015 median listing price in Sagaponack at $7.4 million.

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1. California: 94027

  • City:Atherton
  • Median home value:$6,351,700

Atherton is a small town adjacent to Menlo Park, Calif., and Palo Alto, which is the center of the Silicon Valley tech boom and base for companies like Facebook and Google. Atherton is the home of tech giants like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and HP CEO Meg Whitman, according to Forbes.

As the most expensive zip code in the U.S., Atherton has seen home prices increase as much as 40 percent year over year recently. Although the median home value is $6.3 million according to Zillow's index, Forbes reported that median listing price was as high as $10.6 million during the summer of 2015.

Keep Reading: 10 States Most (and Least) Likely to Live Paycheck to Paycheck

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Though high prices are a sign of recovery, movement hasn't been consistently skyward. In 2014, the total number of million-dollar ZIPs in the US dipped to 958, according to Zillow, about 0.5% fewer than pre-recession era.

But by May of 2017, that number had risen to 1,280, equal to 4.35% of all US ZIP codes. The West Coast accounted for nearly one-third of that growth, minting new million-dollar ZIPs in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Another 26% of new million-dollar ZIPs since 2014 came from New York, Boston, Miami, and Washington, DC.

San Francisco and San Jose metro areas lead the nation, with 74% and 77%, respectively, of all ZIP codes considered million-dollar areas. Seattle experienced remarkable growth as well, doubling its million-dollar ZIP count since 2007 to 38 — 24% of the metro area's total ZIPs.

Coastal housing markets have always been more expensive than markets in interior states, but with increasing millennial populations in these cities, many of whom are looking to settle down, prices are being driven even higher.

"A million-dollar home is no entry level home," Gudell said. "Even for a well-off millennial, you're going to have a hard time scraping together a down payment for that home and a lot of times you're not getting a conventional mortgage, you're getting a jumbo mortgage."

Ultimately, the surge in million-dollar ZIPs is a likely contributor to today's record low homeownership rates among millennials, along with increased student debt burdens, and choosing to live with family. As long as home prices continue to rise in popular markets, pricing out young people, Gudell said, renter populations — and rents — will increase, too.

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