Monday, October 02, 2006

'02807' is sounding more like '90210'

'02807' is sounding more like '90210'

Block Island this year assumes an honor of sorts. It ranks among the nation's "Most Expensive Zip Codes 2006," according to Forbes Magazine.

Block Island's zip code, 02807, placed 367 in the top 500 priciest neighborhoods across the United States. The listing is based on real estate sales last year that created a median home price on the island of $730,500.

It is the first time Block Island has won a spot in the annual list.

Placed immediately above the island are some better-known locales, such as zips in Boston, and Monterey and Santa Cruz, Calif. Montauk, the old fishing port on the tip of Long Island from which vacationers can catch a ferry between the island and the Hamptons, is just a few places lower at 372.

Neighboring islands Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard scored mentions, too. The town of Nantucket placed 46th, with a median home price of $1.3 million and a median household income of $63,348; none of the island's other neighborhoods were in. Two towns on the Vineyard, Chilmark and Edgartown, placed 80 and 387 respectively.

The magazine also supplies a little information about each 'hood, mostly gathered from public data like the Census Bureau and Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report. The median household income on Block Island is $48,000, according to Forbes, above the national median of $44,389. The population was given as 1,105, with a median age of almost 44. The population has grown by 34 percent since 1990, says the listing, and the average household contains 2.1 people.

The crime rate here is very low. Forbes assigns a value of 100 to the national crime risk average. Block Island was given a value of 15, by far safer than average.

The island also scored high for schooling, which was measured by OnBoard, the same New York firm that worked out median home sales. According to the company, in a system in which "1" is low and "5" is high, Block Island got a "4" on the education index, which the magazine says is "a measure of socioeconomic status" that helps identify zip codes "with the best conditions for quality schools."

Nowhere else in Rhode Island made it into the Forbes ranking.

Half of the entire list was taken up by California zip codes, including, of course, Beverly Hills 90210. (It placed 22. For reality TV aficionados, Laguna Beach's 92651 also placed high, at 39.)

That being the case, it is not surprising that while the national median home price is $200,000, Forbes says that California's average is $600,000, making it the most expensive state to buy a home. Coastal areas in the Golden State took most of the spots in the top 10. But the priciest place of all is not far from

Block Island. Hamptons town Sagaponack won top honors as the most expensive place in the country, with median home sales of $2.8 million. In all, New York State took a generous 20 percent of the top 500, with zips on Long Island and in New York City (think Tribeca, the costliest NYC neighborhood at number 12) helping make it the second most expensive state.

Although California and New York zip codes took most of the top 10, Florida's Miami Beach made it as 10th most expensive. The crime index there isn't looking too good, though; it is listed at 431, putting residents at risk of crime at more than four times the national rate.

The place where people make the most money was Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego, Calif., where the median household income in 2005 was $333,014. It is also the second most expensive place to buy a house.

The safest place was Carlisle, Mass., with a crime index of two, followed by New Canaan, Conn., and a slew of other quiet Connecticut and Massachusetts towns.

'02807' is sounding more like '90210'

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