19 Percent More Expensive: The DC Region's Priciness Put Into Perspective

  • May 23rd 2018

by Nena Perry-Brown

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In the midst of ballooning development (and home prices) in the District and the region more generally, it has come as a small comfort that a few other metro areas seem pricier by comparison. However, new data reveals that we shouldn't be so relieved.

The Stephen S. Fuller Institute has partnered with the Schar School at George Mason University on a report comparing the real per capita personal income (RPCPI) of the DC area to that of other metros. The measure goes beyond raw income data by adding the context of how expensive it is to live in each region.

In 2016, the DC area had a personal income per person of $66,730; because a dollar doesn't go as far here as it does in other regions, however, the RPCPI was $56,670, the fourth highest out of the 15 largest metro areas. The report deemed the DC area 19.1 percent more expensive than the country at-large. Only two of the 15 largest metro areas are more expensive — San Francisco/Oakland and New York. 

19 Percent More Expensive: The DC Region's Priciness Put Into Perspective: Figure 1
How rent in other metro areas compares to rent in the DC area. Click to enlarge.

As illustrated above, of all measures, the high cost of rent in the region has moved the needle the most. Rent is 66.4 percent more expensive than the national average and the DC region has the second most-expensive rent out of the 15 largest metros, behind only San Francisco/Oakland (where rents are 14.7 percent more expensive). 

Comparatively, goods and non-rent services in the DC area are 5.4 and 10.7 percent more expensive than the nation, standing at the fourth and third most-expensive among the largest 15 metros.

"In the near-term, job growth is projected to result in somewhat stronger wage growth, which may also drive increases in prices," the report concludes. "As a result, it is likely that the region will continue to become somewhat more expensive in the upcoming years." And if those predictions don't include the potential addition of a new Amazon or Apple headquarters, one can only imagine how much more severe of an impact that level of growth could create.

See other articles related to: cost of living, income, rent

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/19-percent-more-expensive-the-DC-regions-priciness-put-into-perspective/14019.

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