What Are The 10 Most Expensive Markets in The Country?

Generally, the costs of housing – either a monthly mortgage or monthly rent – is the most expensive ongoing expense, making it a good indicator for comparing the demand for fix-and-flips or rentals across multiple markets. However, an even better measurement of demand is when you combine the costs of housing with other living expenses, like utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and other miscellaneous goods and services.

This aggregate metric is commonly referred to as the cost of living index. Each quarter, The Council For Community and Economic Research (C2ER) calculates a cost of living index by measuring regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures. The calculation based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area.

C2ER recently released the cost of living index for the first quarter of 2019. Here are the 10 most expensive urban markets compared to a national average of 100:


10. Arlington, VA

Cost of Living Index: 151.1


9. Orange County, CA

Cost of Living Index: 151.4


8. Boston, MA

Cost of Living Index: 153.5


7. Oakland, CA

Cost of Living Index: 158.2


6. Washington, DC

Cost of Living Index: 158.4


5. Seattle, WA

Cost of Living Index: 159.4


4. Brooklyn, NY

Cost of Living Index: 186.4


3. Honolulu, HI

Cost of Living Index: 192.9


2. San Francisco, CA

Cost of Living Index: 200.1


1. New York City, NY

Cost of Living Index: 238.4


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