The most expensive cities in the United States are New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Life in a big city is not cheap. High taxes, high house prices, and high rents are all things that many Americans in a big city have to worry about every day.
The ten most expensive cities will be broken down by a range of factors including the median home price, household income, and average salaries so you know what to expect if you’re considering moving there.
The 10 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.
You can view our full report for the list of the cities with the most expensive homes and the most expensive rental homes, as well as the cheapest rental homes and the cheapest home, too.
It contains cities with the highest property costs.
10. Miami, Florida
Best For Affluent Retirees
Florida is one of the most popular locations for retirement in the United States, but it is suffering from a housing shortage.
Miami is a city that has gorgeous weather and is quite a popular destination for people who want to move.
Florida has a large amount of population, making it the third-most populated state in the country. Florida’s economy is strong, and its housing market is also one of the most stable in the country. The State of Florida is also home to many large metropolitan areas such as Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.
It’s a bustling city with a rich culture and a diverse mix of influences. Cuban influences are evident in its vibrant music scene and eclectic cuisine.
The city has an important port, where hundreds of ships go in and out. It is full of fancy yachts owned by the wealthy, and is full of expensive restaurants.
In 2016, the city of Miami was home to over 43,000 companies, making it the 5th largest economy in the country.
If you’re working in these job sectors, you can afford the estimated monthly cost of living for a family of 4
. You should have an income of about $3,851 a month to make ends meet.
9. Los Angeles, California
Best For Movie Lovers
Los Angeles, California, in the United States, is also a major film and television production center and a worldwide center for the entertainment industry.
The cost of living here in Hollywood isn’t the lowest in America, but it is fairly cheap. Some people might consider it expensive for the quality of life offered, though.
The average cost of living of the ninth most expensive city in America, is more than half the amount spent on Miami, enough to live on comfortably for a family of four.
People who live in the Downtown L.A. will usually spend more on their housing costs, but not as much as those living in other parts of the county, although the median price of a home in the entire county is higher than in Downtown L.A.
In Beverly Hills, the median home price is more than $4 million. The highest-priced home, according to the Beverly Hills Association, is worth a jaw-dropping $28 million.
These variable costs are what you see on the surface: the cost of a home, of a car, of cable TV. These costs, unlike the fixed costs, are the costs that can vary wildly as you move into different neighborhoods or as the economy fluctuates.
Although it is the most expensive city in the state, the majority of the city of Los Angeles is low income or poor. This masks the impact of the problems of violence and poverty.
8. San Diego, California
Best For Sports Fans
If your budget is tight, rent an apartment in an area with good transportation, such as Downtown San Diego or North County, where the price is much less.
San Diego is a major city in the state and is home to many medical facilities, including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography; the University of California-San Diego; and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Other industries in the city include the pharmaceutical industry, biotech, and aerospace manufacturing.
The cost of living in Fort Worth is higher than the national average with the city having an annual median household income of $83,985. However, other metropolitan areas in Texas have higher median household incomes.
A family of four can be expected to pay around $3,592 annually to cover the costs of a family.
The high cost of living in San Diego is partly because the city has higher than average housing prices compared to the rest of the country.
If someone wanted to buy a house in San Diego, they would have to pay in the beginning $743,000. For a standard apartment, the price would be $2,610 a month.
San Diego is a sports town that draws people in due to the strong sports culture it has. Gary Sheffield is one of the wealthiest baseball players in the world thanks to the strong sports culture.
7. San Jose, California
Best For Silicon Valley Employees
San Jose is located in Northern California, is home to many business such as Google and Apple and is known to have beautiful weather and a safe environment.
The city is also home to 1.3 million residents and has a population density of over 1,000 people per square mile.
This has made the city a major technology hub because of its proximity to San Francisco, and the abundance of tech companies and the talent they hire.
San Francisco is one of the most expensive places in America, with the highest cost of living, and it is also ranked very high in the list of the richest cities in the country.
The city of San Jose has a high cost of living compared to cities in other states, but the city is very affordable when you consider the quality of healthcare and low utility bills.
The median home price in San Jose, California is $1.1 million and the average new home in the area costs around $500,000. However, the average down payment is only $49,000.
While you do not need the net worth of Mark Zuckerberg to live comfortably, this expensive city does require a certain level of affluence to live comfortably.
6. Oakland, California
Best For Affordable Access To The Bay Area
If you are looking to move to California then the cost of living needs to be number one on your list of priorities and Oakland is no exception.
Oakland has lower rents and better public transportation than San Francisco while being an easier commute to the other Bay Area cities.
Oakland does not have as many businesses as some of the cities that are considered expensive, but it is considered one of the most expensive cities in the US to purchase a home in.
With a median home value of more than $100,000 in Oakland, even if you own a home, it is still likely that you are not going to be able to afford to buy the home that you want to live in.
You will also want to consider paying off your student loans before even considering the possibility of buying a home.
The average cost of living in Oakland is high because of the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is over $2,000, and the average housing costs are higher than the national average.
5. Washington, D.C.
Best For Diverse Employment Opportunities
The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is a magnet for Federal Government employees, with over 700,000 residents and with numerous agencies, lobbying firms, and think tanks providing jobs for those residents.
In the private sector, the main source of wealth for the region is the defense industry. Several companies have large defense contracts, including BAE Systems and General Dynamics, which have large facilities, the latter of which is a major employer and is building a new campus in the region.
Washington D.C.’s median household income is higher than the national average and is currently growing at a faster rate.
While Washington State’s cost of living is slightly lower than the national average, the housing market is very competitive, with the average price reaching $452,400 in 2020, according to Washington Data and Research.
The high overall cost of living in the Bay Area results in part of the higher cost of living in the San Francisco metropolitan area. The cost of living in San Francisco is comparable to that of New York City and Los Angeles and is the highest of any major American city.
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4. Boston, Massachusetts
Best For Access To High-Quality Colleges
Despite high tech jobs requiring a high caliber of applicants, the average annual wage for Boston residents is on a par with neighboring cities like Chelsea and Brookline.
These high salaries are necessary to pay for the high cost of living in Boston, which is particularly affected by an expensive housing market.
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A recent study revealed that the Boston metro area ranked second overall for home values and the fifth best place to live in the nation. The Boston metro area also placed third overall in the quality of life category and fifth in terms of a cost-of-living environment.
The average cost of living in Boston for groceries, restaurants, and other daily expenses for one person is $408.17, compared to the national cost of living in the United States with about $326.31.
The fact that Boston is becoming a more desirable place because more people are coming in has resulted in higher costs of living for everyone.
The cost of living in Cambridge increases higher than the national average. This is because there is a major university in the city.
3. Honolulu, Hawaii
Best For Beach Lifestyle
There were no palm trees or beaches. The weather was rainy, cold and windy. The coffee prices were a few hundred bucks a pound.
However, with the state’s location, coupled with the beautiful scenery, the costs of living are lower than most states, including more expensive California.
Some residents said that they have been living in a kind of a bubble where they are unaware of the world outside of Singapore.
In Honolulu, the median home price is over $1 million, making it a top city to buy a home. Buying a home in Honolulu isn’t cheap, however, since median rent in Honolulu is $2,941 per month.
The high price of homes means the value of property is rising at an astronomical rate. This means home prices will continue to increase and will affect the housing market for years to come.
That said, Honolulu locals benefit from a mild climate, excellent cuisine, and waterfront that are paradise for surfers.
2. San Francisco, California
Best For Culture Vultures
San Francisco is the capital of the State of California, famous for the Golden Gate Bridge and an eclectic cultural scene.
Even though San Francisco is the most expensive city in California, the economy of San Francisco is the same as all other cities in California which makes it very affordable.
San Francisco’s high median household income is due to the high level of employment, and tourism and financial services play important roles in its economy.
While living in San Francisco, the cost of living is astronomical. It’s hard to imagine how two people can be making less than $152K per year in order to be able to live in San Francisco.
In addition to high home prices in San Francisco, many real estate agents prefer to live in the area themselves.
For the people of San Francisco, it is a place of peace and harmony; despite the various and often harsh laws enforced by the police, the city is also home to many social services and support agencies that have made it a haven for the underprivileged.
1. New York City, New York
Best For Top Earners
The most expensive city in America will, perhaps surprisingly, be found in Texas. Texas is the only state where the cost of living is consistently ranked as the highest in the country, and the Lone Star State is the only one where the average home is valued well over $300,000.
Schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, were among the top-20 most expensive schools in the world.
You can find world-class universities, financial institutions, and biotech and tech companies located along Silicon Alley.
The average salary of a New Yorker is $81,000 per year, but with the cost of living at 129% higher than the national average, a high wage doesn’t necessarily translate to an affluent lifestyle.
Manhattan is the most expensive place to live, with rents exceeding $4,000 a month and home prices exceeding $1 million. A common occurrence in New York.
Those who are able to afford it, are rewarded with one of the world’s cultural hubs, with some describing it as the cultural capital of the world.
With famous landmarks and places of interest such as these to visit, New York is an amazing city to visit. From the museums and the theater to the restaurants and the shopping, there is so much to do!
The most expensive cities in America are places where you have to make your money, places where you can have money but can’t just live off of it.
Here are the ten most expensive cities in the world, but you can’t live there if you’re earning under $43,000 a year.
Even if you don’t check the data, the current trends are obvious. Unemployment has been rising over the last few years, and is higher now than it was before the Great Recession.
You can see that there are a several large cities that have a lot of expensive home prices.
In fact, San Antonio has the cheapest housing prices.
It also has the second highest income.
It’s also the third most educated city in the U.S.