With the price of everything increasing, it’s hard to think of anything being affordable these days. Worries about inflation have been the biggest economic story of recent months. Month-over-month and year-over-year we’ve seen price increases at historic highs. And not make you depressed, but categories such as energy and vehicles have seen price increases of more than 40% since the beginning of 2021. But the good news is it could be worse. I know, I know. But turns out the Charlotte area ranks as the 10th most affordable large city to live in. Several other Carolina cities made the list for their respective sizes as well.
Changes In Prices
The year-over-year percentage change in the Consumer Price Index has topped 5% in every month since June 2021. And it reached 7.5% in January of 2022. One of the biggest factors pressuring household finances since the pandemic began has been a rapid increase in the cost of housing. For most families, this is the largest regular expense. Research shows that the year-over-year home price increases of more than 10% for every month of 2021, peaking at 20% in August.
The most common measures of inflation are simply an average and may not clearly reflect differences for individual households. One of the biggest factors affecting how consumers experience prices is where they live. Depending on where you live, your dollar can go a lot farther in some locations than others. But where are the best places to live to get the most for your money? Unsurprisingly, the most affordable locations tend to be those with lower housing costs. Among the most affordable large metros in the U.S., 13 of the top 15 have housing costs that are at least 10% less than the overall average. And in each of the top seven metros, housing is between 20% and 30% cheaper than the average.
Porch.com conducted this study. They used data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 2020 Regional Price Parities (RPP) dataset for the analysis. This data tracks relative cost of living differences across geographies. To determine the locations where Americans’ incomes go furthest, researchers at Porch looked at the overall cost of living compared to the national average. Metrics taken into account were consumer goods, services, and housing. In the event of a tie, the location with the larger per capita personal income was ranked higher.
The analysis found that the overall cost of living in the Charlotte metropolitan area is 5.4% lower than the national average. This was enough to rank Charlotte the 10th most affordable city to live. This is out of the “large metros” in the US.
Here is a summary of the data for the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC metro area:
- Overall cost of living (compared to average): -5.4%
- The cost of housing (compared to average): -11.3%
- Cost of goods (compared to average): -4.3%
- Cost of utilities (compared to average): +1.7%
- Per capita personal income: $56,682
For reference, the national average per capita personal income is $59,510.
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Porch’s website: https://porch.com/advice/cities-where-your-dollar-goes-the-furthest
View the full list below: