NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Real estate's Champagne wishes and caviar dreams are waking to a stingy, jobless reality of metropolitan moochers posing as the wealthy.
The U.S. is at 9.2% unemployment and conspicuous housing consumption is constricted by tightening loan requirements, while the average home has fallen 4.6% in price from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. In neighborhoods where housing prices have remained high, properties are increasingly out of reach.
"Even with recent economic softness, this is a disappointing performance with home sales being held back by overly restrictive loan underwriting standards," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. "There's been a pendulum swing from very loose standards, which led to the housing boom, to unnecessarily restrictive practices as an overreaction to the housing correction."
But why break your back paying close to seven figures for a closet in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the U.S. when there's cheaper property nearby? The zip code's cache is nice and all, but even television and Hollywood helped America realize that Alan Arkin's family in Slums of Beverly Hills could get by on the fringes and that Gabrielle Carteris' Andrea Zuckerman character didn't have to be born or have parents in Beverly Hills: 90210 to get into fictional West Beverly High School.
TheStreet took a look at five of the tonier neighborhoods in America and found five more on the outskirts that gave residents deep discounts while dropping them directly adjacent to all the stores, restaurants, theaters, museums, parks and other amenities that command premium prices from the rich neighbors: