Entries in Most Expensive (6)


Twenty Most Expensive Places to Get Hitched

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City continues its reign as most expensive place to get married in the U.S. with couples spending $76,787 on average, according to the annual Real Weddings Survey by and
The survey revealed that the average amount couples spend on weddings in the country reached a high since 2008 at $28,427, not including the honeymoon. Spending in nearly every category also increased, including money spent on a photographer, venue and wedding planner.

"In general, you're seeing couples a little more comfortable with their pocket books," said Anja Winikka, site editor for "Most spending is up across the board. They're adding a few more flowers. They're going for the higher-end dress."

The average amount spent on a wedding dress in 2012 was $1,211, compared with $1,121 in 2011. The average number of guests is 139.

This year, spending per guest increased to $204 from $196 in 2011.

"Couples are concentrating on their guests and creating a holistic experience for guests. It's not just about a dazzling dress and me, me, me," she said.

More couples this past year, one in four, provided shuttles and buses for guests to attend their wedding.

New York City has been the most expensive place to get married in the country since began asking this question in 2007. The least expensive place to get married is Alaska, with an average of $15,504 per wedding.

Winikka said the amount of spending is likely tied to rent and the cost of living.

"To own and run a business in Manhattan is that much more expensive than in the rest of the country," she said.

New to this year's list of 20 most expensive places to get married are Savannah, Ga. (17th), Sacramento/Reno/Tahoe (18th), and Illinois (20th).

1. New York City (Manhattan)

Average spent per wedding: $76,687

2. Chicago

Average spent per wedding:$49,810

3. New York Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs)

Average spent per wedding, respectively: $49,002, $46,300, $39,602

4. Northern/Central New Jersey and Southern New Jersey

Average spent per wedding, respectively: $48,496, $35,375

5. Rhode Island

Average spent per wedding: $47,399

6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, Calif.

Average spent per wedding: $42,319

7. Boston

Average spent per wedding: $39,239

8. Philadelphia

Average spent per wedding: $38,369

9. Connecticut

Average spent per wedding: $38,009

10. San Francisco

Average spent per wedding: $35,344

11. Los Angeles

Average spent per wedding: $35,308

12. San Diego and Orange County/Inland Empire, Calif.

Average spent per wedding, respectively: $34,136, $33,848

13. Baltimore

Average spent per wedding: $33,366

14. Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia

Average spent per wedding: $33,118

15. Houston

Average spent per wedding: $31,978

16. Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas)

Average spent per wedding: $31,288

17. Savannah, Ga.

Average spent per wedding: $30,618

18. Sacramento/Reno/Tahoe

Average spent per wedding: $30,458

19. Hawaii

Average spent per wedding: $29,636

20. Illinois

Average spent per wedding: $29,489

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New York City Tops "Forbes'' 5 Most Expensive US Zip Codes

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A lack of inventory is driving real estate prices higher, especially in the most expensive zip codes in the country.

Forbes on Tuesday released its annual list of the zip codes with the priciest housing. While the usual suspects made the top five, a New York City zip code topped the list for the first time since Forbes began collecting this data several years ago.

Forbes and Altos Research pulled pricing data for more than 22,000 zip codes in the U.S. from June 28 to Sept. 28, then analyzed the 500 most expensive. Only single-family homes and condominiums were sampled. Multi-family homes and co-ops were left out, which may be one reason New York City, known for its high housing costs, had not reached number one on Forbes' list yet. Four of the most expensive 10 zip codes are in Manhattan.

Morgan Brennan, real estate reporter at Forbes, said New York City zip codes surrounding famed Central Park were especially expensive, though the zip code that was most expensive, 10065, had more expensive single-family homes and co-ops.

"The regions most popular are these zip codes that hug Central Park, especially with high-end buyers," she said. "Wealthy, foreign investors consider it a safe-haven investment."

Coming in second is the exclusive, posh Alpine, a suburb in New Jersey that is usually in the top three each year. Brennan said what is driving the high prices there is a lack of multi-family housing and many multi-million-dollar single-family estates.

In its analysis, Forbes takes into account not just housing prices, but the amount of time properties are on the market and inventory.

Inventory is down about 30 percent on average among all the zip codes that made Forbes' list. This is true especially in Silicon Valley, which is represented on the list by Atherton and Hillsborough, third and fifth, respectively.

Because of the tech boom in Silicon Valley, Brennan said inventory is down even more drastically there.

Here is the list of the top five most expensive zip codes compiled by Forbes:

1. New York, N.Y. (10065)

Median home price: $6,534,430

Average days on market: 449

Number of homes on the market: 80

2. Alpine, N.J. (07620)

Median home price: $5,745,038

Average days on market: 207

Number of homes on the market: 35

3. Atherton, Calif. (94027)

Median home price: $4,897,864

Average days on market: 103

Number of homes on the market: 41

4. Sagaponack, N.Y. (11962)

Median home price: $4,180,385

Average days on market: 333

Number of homes on the market: 84

5. Hillsborough, Calif. (94010)

Median home price: $4,127,250

Average days on market: 172

Number of homes on the market: 124

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sarah Lawrence Tops List of Most Expensive US Colleges

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A college degree may be losing its value, but the price tag for a four-year education continues to rise.

The cost to attend college for one year exceeded $60,000 for the first time this year, according to Campus Grotto, a college publication that compiles an annual list of the most expensive colleges.

Tuition at more than 70 colleges is more than $55,000, according to Campus Grotto, and the sticker price often makes it necessary for students to seek financial assistance through student loans and other means.

Last year, the total student debt surpassed $1 trillion.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, nearly one in every five U.S. households is saddled with student loan debt.

The Pew Report found that 40 percent of all households headed by those younger than 35 had student loan debt. Among households owing on student loans, the average outstanding loan balance increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the meantime, the cost of a college degree continues to climb.

This year the cost to attend the most expensive college, Sarah Lawrence College, for one year was  more than double the average outstanding loan balance in 2010. The private college in New York’s Westchester County charges its students $61,236 a year for tuition, room and board and fees.

Here’s Campus Grotto’s list of the top 10 most expensive colleges:

1. Sarah Lawrence College
Total Cost: $61,236

2. New York University
Total Cost: $59,837

3. Harvey Mudd College
Total Cost: $58,913

4. Columbia University
Total Cost: $58,742

5. Wesleyan University

Total Cost: $58,202

6. Claremont McKenna College
Total Cost: $58,065

7. Dartmouth College
Total Cost: $57,996

8. Drexel University
Total Cost: $57,975

9. University of Chicago

Total Cost: $57,711

10. Bard College
Total Cost: $57,580

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Seven Most Expensive Places to Live in the US

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You may have suspected it all along, but the data backs it up: Manhattan is, once again, the most expensive place to live in the United States.

That's according to an index of 300 cities published by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), which found that the cost of living in the borough of Manhattan in New York City is 133.5 percent higher than the national average of 100, with an index score of 233.5.  Harlingen, Texas, is the least expensive city, with a cost of living 18.4 percent below the national average.

"The top 10 most expensive cities are pretty stable, they remain almost static," said Dean Frutiger, project manager for the Cost of Living Index project at C2ER.  "There's more change with the bottom."

The council has published the quarterly data for 45 years (previously, it was released by the government) and bases its information on the prices of 60 consumer goods and services in six categories: grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous items.

Not surprisingly, housing carries the largest weight, said Frutiger, noting that about 29 percent of our income is spent on housing.  That's the reason Washington, D.C., wound its way into the top 10 this year instead of hovering around the 11th or 12th spot.

"Housing prices have been hurt very badly by the recession.  However, D.C.'s housing has remained relatively strong because there's a built-in market in D.C.  You wouldn't believe the construction going on there relative to other cities," Frutiger said.

Here's a list of the seven cities with the highest cost of living out of 300 regions analyzed by C2ER:

1. Manhattan, New York City - Index Score: 233.5
2. Brooklyn, New York City - Index Score: 183.4
3. Honolulu - Index Score: 170.8
4. San Francisco - Index Score: 163.2
5. San Jose, California - Index Score: 156.5
6. Queens, New York City - Index Score: 151.4
7. Stamford, Connecticut - Index Score: 146.7

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


9 Most Expensive American Cities

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What drives costs in the most expensive cities in the U.S.? The answer is housing. But the nationwide trend of falling home prices won't knock the city with the highest cost of living, New York, out of the top spot anytime soon.

According to an index of 306 cities published by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), the cost of living in the borough of Manhattan in New York City is 128 percent higher than the national average, with an index score of 228.

The council has published the quarterly data since 1968, after it was originally published by the government, and uses the prices of 60 consumer goods and services in six categories: grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous items.

Housing, which is weighted the heaviest in the analysis, created challenges for the data collection with its plummeting prices across the country.

"This is the worst economy the project has seen since 1968," said Dean Frutiger, project manager of the Cost of Living Index project at C2ER.

Frutiger said the project usually does not use new home prices below $365,000 for its data collection, but he has been seeing "prices that are far below that."

"The economy forces us to be pretty flexible," he said.

Here's a list of the nine cities with the highest cost of living out of the 306 regions analyzed by C2ER:

Manhattan (New York), N.Y.

While C2ER aims to collect uniform data about mortgage rates, housing prices and rental costs across the country, the densely populated area of Manhattan requires certain attention with its 1.6 million residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

C2ER works with local organizations to collect data on designated days so the information is as consistent as it can be across the country.

Frutiger said C2ER usually looks at homes with four or more bedrooms at about 2,400 square feet.

"In Texas, that's a closet, but that's going to be huge in Manhattan," he said.

For that reason, C2ER will have to pro-rate housing data from New York to compare to the other cities in the index.

Brooklyn (New York), N.Y.

The borough of Brooklyn creates similar challenges to that of Manhattan. With a population of 2,504,700, according to the U.S. Census, Brooklyn is the most populous of the New York's five boroughs. It is however, the second largest, which arguably may make housing more affordable than in Manhattan.

New York boroughs make it to the top of the list frequently, Frutiger said.

"I don't think anyone would be surprised looking at that," he said.

San Francisco, Calif.

The cost of living is 66.5 percent higher in San Francisco than the national average. While housing is more affordable in San Francisco than in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Golden Gate region's transportation costs and health care were slightly more expensive Brooklyn's, according to the data submitted to C2ER.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The cost of living in Honolulu is 65.8 percent higher than the national average, closely following San Francisco. While its housing costs are below that of San Francisco, Honolulu's five other categories -- its grocery items, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services -- were higher than in San Francisco.

San Jose, Calif.

San Jose may be a world away from San Francisco in terms of urban and suburban aesthetics, but it is just a one-hour drive to the south in good traffic. The heart of Silicon Valley had higher costs than San Francisco, according to the index, in the categories of utilities, transportation and healthcare.

Stamford, Conn.

A suburb of New York, Stamford has a cost of living 47.4 percent higher than the national average. Though finance professionals have been known to escape to Stamford for lower costs and more real estate space, the index indicates utilities costs higher in Stamford than in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Queens (New York), N.Y.

The largest New York City borough by area, Queens is an expensive real estate market. Though housing prices are lower than in Brooklyn, Queens had higher costs than Brooklyn for grocery items, utilities, transportation and health care.

Orange County, Calif.

Encompassing the metropolitan area of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Irvine, Orange County's housing costs were higher than in Queens, New York. However, its utilities and healthcare costs were lower than those of Queens. Lacking an efficient public transit system, Orange County had transportation costs higher than those of Queens, San Francisco and San Jose.

Washington, D.C./Arlington/Alexandria, Va.

In previous years, Washington D.C. was not on the top ten list, but has become one of the most expensive cities in recent years, Frutiger said.

"The housing market in D.C. has remained very strong, unlike the rest of country," Frutiger said. "Housing can drive the index very easily."

Housing costs in Washington, D.C. were higher than in Orange County, but were lower than in the other cities of the top nine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Divorcing Wife Sues Billionaire Over $88M NY Penthouse

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dmitry Rybolovlev, the billionaire who purchased the most expensive property in New York City, is facing a lawsuit from his wife Elena Rybolovleva.  She claims he purchased the $88 million penthouse to hide his assets as the couple endures a divorce.

On March 14, Rybolovleva sued her billionaire husband alleging that he “fraudulently transferred property acquired during his marriage,” violating a Swiss Court order. The suit also alleges that he used the property to purchase the penthouse at 15 Central Park West, which once belonged to former Citibank CEO Sandy Weill, for his own personal use.

The couple is currently in the middle of divorce filed in December of 2008, which should have prevented the purchase of the property.

A spokesperson for Crowe Horwath, which is listed as the company in care of the company that owns 15 Central Park West, told ABC News, "many clients use our address and client matters are confidential.”

David B. Newman, an attorney for wife Rybolovleva, told ABC News, ”Mr. Rybolovlev has taken assets that were acquired during the marriage and has moved them to places to make them unavailable to the wife.”

“Mr. Rybolovlev has lots and lots of assets and they’re all over the world and we’re trying to do what we can in regards to the assets in the United States,” said Newman.

According to the lawsuit, Rybolovlev allegedly “formed a sham entity for the sole purpose and with the specific intent of hiding and diverting his personal interest in the property.”

The New York City property came with a hefty price tag of 66 percent more than previous record sale, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The sale of the home with wraparound terrace brought in city and state taxes of around $2.5 million, according to WSJ.

Why the $88 million home? The two allegedly looked at the home before divorce proceedings but the Weills were not looking to sell, according to Rybololeva’s attorney.

“If you look at these Russian oligarch, they want to buy the biggest and best and most expensive,” said Newman. Another example is the $95 million mansion purchased from Donald Trump in Florida.

Rybolovlev’s attorney in the Florida dispute could not comment on the New York state lawsuit.

He continued, “if you look at someone like that they’re very ego driven. They want to get the biggest and the best, and that appears to be what he wants to do.”

The fertilizer billionaire with an estimated net worth of $9 billion is expected to contest the suit.

Rybolovleva is asking the court for a “constructive trust” over the multi-million dollar property and the trust company so that it “cannot be alienated, conveyed, encumbered, transferred or wasted” pending the ruling of the Swiss court and an award of costs and attorney fees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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