The nation’s most expensive markets for family homes

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom home for sale in Malibu. Click to go to the listing.Coldwell Banker just released its 2013 Home Listing Report, ranking the prices of 2,000 markets across the nation. Most of the 25 priciest markets are in California, as you might expect. Still, the list does contain a few surprises: One Minnesota town manages to crack the top 10. Yet Hawaii, hardly known for cheap real estate, occupies just one spot, and that's all the way down at No. 20.

Now, rankings like these are pretty common in the real estate industry; in fact, the National Association of Realtors releases data every quarter, including a release on Wednesday. But whereas most rankings look at the median price of all homes in an area regardless of size, this list zeroes in on the average listing price of solely four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes. And whereas many rankings look at federally designated Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the markets on this list are simply the cities or towns in the addresses of each real estate listing.

The idea is to provide more of an "apples-to-apples comparison across markets," Coldwell Banker told Yahoo Homes, to get closer to answering this kind of question: What would a home in, say, Cleveland be worth if the same home were in Malibu?

It's an interesting approach. By focusing on four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes, Coldwell Banker is trying to filter out extremes at the ultra-high end as well as the very low end. It wants to put a price on the kind of home that's bigger and better than a starter home, comfortable for a family but not a mansion: "aspirational" but not fantastical.

On the pricey side, Malibu in Southern California came out on top this year, with an average listing price of more than $2 million for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. (To find out which markets are the cheapest, come back here to Yahoo Homes' Spaces blog later today.) That's about 20 percent more than the city that came in second: Newport Beach, also in Southern California.

"Malibu is undergoing a transformation from a seasonal destination to a year-round locale,” said Madison Hildebrand, co-star of Bravo’s "Million Dollar Listing" and a Coldwell Banker agent in Malibu.

One important note on methodology: To qualify for ranking, a market had to have at least 10 ColdwellBanker.com listings of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes during the six-month data period of January to June. Markets like Beverly Hills and Manhattan are unranked because they didn't meet that 10-listing threshold, Coldwell Banker told us. Homes with more than four bedrooms didn't count, and neither did homes with 1.5 bathrooms or 2.5 bathrooms or anything other than exactly two bathrooms. So bear that in mind as you look at this list of the most expensive real estate markets in America:

25. Newton, Massachusetts
Average listing price: $912,745

24. Westport, Connecticut
Average listing price: $966,582

23. Larchmont, New York
Average listing price: $972,150

22. Campbell, California
Average listing price: $974,212

21. Mercer Island, Washington
Average listing price: $999,276

20. Kailua, Hawaii
Average listing price: $1,004,567

19. Danville, California
Average listing price: $1,018,300

18. Santa Barbara, California
Average listing price: $1,061,475

17. Sunnyvale, California
Average listing price: $1,077,025

16. Wellesley, Massachusetts
Average listing price: $1,079,600

15. Greenwich, Connecticut
Average listing price: $1,087,300

14. Pasadena, California
Average listing price: $1,092,087

13. Great Neck, New York
Average listing price: $1,103,364

12. San Mateo, California
Average listing price: $1,132,523

11. Breckenridge, Colorado
Average listing price: $1,177,795

10. Redwood City, California
Average listing price: $1,203,357

9. Weston, Massachusetts
Average listing price: $1,229,000

8. Orono, Minnesota
Average listing price: $1,251,873

7. Cupertino, California
Average listing price: $1,292,400

6. Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Average listing price: $1,301,727

5. San Francisco, California
Average listing price: $1,309,559

4. Los Gatos, California
Average listing price: $1,360,497

3. Saratoga, California
Average listing price: $1,684,261

2. Newport Beach, California
Average listing price: $1,773,824

1. Malibu, California
Average listing price: $2,155,900

Come back here to Yahoo Homes' Spaces blog later today to see America's cheapest markets for family homes.