The Most Expensive Cities in America Tend to Have One Thing in Common

They're in California

The Most Expensive Cities in America Tend to Have One Thing in Common
By Tanner Garrity / May 20, 2019 3:37 pm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its report on “regional price parities” across the United States. Using data from 2017, the Bureau was able to reasonably determine which metro areas have a higher or lower cost of living than the rest of the country, based on how much locals have to spend on basic goods and services.

Unsurprisingly, California is not easy on the wallet, with nine cities in the nation’s top 15. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara led the way, with a price level 31% higher than the national average. Meanwhile, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA placed second (28% higher). Each Bay Area metro area scored terribly on RPP for rents, adding more context to recent reports of an “exodus” from the region. According to a study published by real estate company Redfin earlier this year, 24% of online searchers in the Bay are looking for a home elsewhere.

If they’re looking for a lower cost of living, they’ll want to get out of California, and avoid Seattle, Boston, New York, DC and Hawaii, too. None performed all too well on the BEA’s report. We’d recommend looking into the Austin-Round Rock, TX metro area. It had one of the three highest highest percentages of growth in real personal income (basically, how much you’re making in a state, adjusted for local price parity) at 4.1%, and if you like breakfast tacos, exercise and live music, your life should turn out okay.

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