Most Expensive US Cities to Live and Work in 2023

Published: 12-21-22    Category: Insight

Specializes in providing actionable insights into the commercial real estate space for investors, brokers, lessors, and lessees. He covers quarterly market data reports, investment strategies, how-to guides, and top-down perspectives on market movements.

most expensive cities to live and work inMost Expensive US Cities to Live and Work in Q4 2022

The cost of living in the US varies from city to city. Even within the same state, there can be a big difference in the cost of living from one town to another. The most expensive cities in America are those that have the highest costs for housing, goods and services, and transportation.

Cost of living indexes are often used to adjust salaries for employees who work in different locations. These indexes can also be used to help individuals decide where to locate if they are considering several different cities. By comparing the cost of living in different cities, you can select a city where a given salary will go further.

This analysis is based on a cost of living index that takes into account the cost of living in metropolitan areas. The average cost of living nationwide is 100, with 100 being the national average and higher numbers indicating more expensive cities.

Learn which are the most expensive cities to live and work in according to our recent Q4 2022 research below.

Rank City Cost of Living Index Score 1 Bedroom Apartment Rent Average Home Value
1 Manhattan, New York 275 $5,000 $1,400,000
2 Boston, Massachusetts 219 $3,800 $800,000
3 Los Angeles, California 209 $2,200 $955,000
4 San Jose, California 203 $3,000 $880,000
5 Honolulu, Hawaii 202 $2,000 $860,000
6 San Diego, California 199 $2,700 $950,000
7 Seattle, Washington 197 $2,400 $845,000
8 San Francisco, California 183 $3,400 $1,460,000
9 Brooklyn, New York 170 $3,200 $800,000
10 Anchorage, Alaska 158 $1,500 $335,000

#10 – Anchorage, Alaska

On the Expatistan cost of living index, Anchorage makes #10 on the list, scoring 158 out of 100. You can expect to pay around $1,500 in monthly rent for a furnished apartment and around $1,100 for a furnished studio. The average single-family home value in Anchorage is about $427,000.

Providing utilities (like heat and electricity) for just two people in the same housing accommodation will cost you nearly $350 a month. In the more expensive areas of Anchorage, monthly rent is as high as $2,000 per month.

The tourism industry in Anchorage employs one out of every nine individuals living in Anchorage, and visitors to the city spend, on an annual basis, hundreds of millions of dollars. The average cost to feed one person per household with groceries in Anchorage is about $500.

#9 – Brooklyn, New York

Most Expensive US Cities to Live and Work in Q4 2022

Brooklyn scored 170 points out of 100 on the cost of living index. High rents have a huge impact on living costs here: The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn is about $3,200. The average home value is about $800,000.

Food is also very expensive due to the high cost of groceries, which cost about 21% more in Brooklyn than in other areas of the country. In addition, it’s one of the most visited cities in the world with a thriving tourism industry.

#8 – San Francisco, California

With an overall score of 183, San Francisco’s cost of living is 83% higher than the national average. Renting in San Francisco is expensive, but not terrible when compared to others on this list such as Manhattan. Living in San Francisco also has its perks, including access to some of the best tech companies in the world.

However, living there comes at a price: If you rent, you’ll be paying, on average, about $3,400 a month for a single-bedroom apartment. The average value of a house in this city is also very high at $1.46 million.

It’s also no secret that Silicon Valley is one of the most competitive regions for talent, and its salaries are usually higher than elsewhere in California.

#7 – Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington has a cost of living of 197 out of 100. This city has a mix of high-end and mid-range restaurants, as well as many popular attractions, museums, and public parks. Seattle also has a thriving arts scene and many annual cultural festivals.

The University of Washington is in Seattle, as well as several other colleges and trade schools. Seattle has a very low unemployment rate and a high population density. The median home value in Seattle is very high at about $845,000, and average monthly rent sits at about $2,400.

#6 – San Diego, California

San Diego has a cost of living of 199 out of 100, making it one of the most expensive cities to live and work in. The cost of living in San Diego is significantly higher than the national average, and you need to make significantly more to maintain the same quality of life: Housing is about 120% more expensive than the national average, and the cost of utilities is about 20% more expensive.

The city’s high cost of living is reflected in its high real estate prices, as well as the prices of other goods and services in the city.

The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in your average San Diego neighborhood stands at about $2,700 per month. The average single-family home value is about $950,000.

The high cost of living in the city is also likely due to its desirability as a place to live, as well as its position as the most important economic center in the state.

#5 – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu scores 202 on the affordability index, meaning the living expenses are 102% higher than they are nationwide. That doesn’t account for state tax rates, which are among the highest in the nation.

In addition, housing prices are high, as are shipping costs: You’ll be paying about $2,000 a month to rent a single-bedroom apartment, and the average home value in Honolulu is about $860,000.

#4 – San Jose, California

San Jose is one of the most expensive cities in California with a cost of living index of 203. The average cost to rent a single-bedroom apartment in San Jose is nearly $3,000 a month, and the average price for a two-bedroom home is about $880,000.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that this city offers plenty of job opportunities in the tech industry, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors, which are its top employers.

#3 – Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California is one of the most expensive places to live in the country. It has a cost of living of 209 out of 100. It’s one of the most populous cities in the U.S. and houses some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. It’s a very expensive city to live in due to its exorbitantly high housing costs.

Apartments and houses in Los Angeles are some of the most expensive in the country: The average home value in Los Angeles is north of $955,000, and the average monthly rent is about $2,200 a month.

Another major factor that contributes to Los Angeles’s high cost of living is its weather. Even in the wintertime, Los Angeles enjoys a warm and sunny climate with comfortable temperatures. Naturally, this makes it one of the most desirable and highly sought-after places to live in the country, positively affecting housing demand as a result.

#2 – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a cost of living of 219. This city has a very high cost of living compared to other U.S. cities and it’s likely that a large percentage of your income will be put towards your housing expenses: Average monthly rent in Boston is about $3,800 and the average price of a home is about $800,000.

Boston is home to some of the top universities in the country, and many students relocate here for school: There are currently about 150,000 enrolled college students in Boston. You can also find a variety of healthcare jobs in this city.

#1 – Manhattan, New York

Most Expensive US Cities to Live and Work in Q4 2022

Manhattan has a cost of living of 275, which is almost three times as much as the national average of 100. Manhattan is one of the most popular boroughs of New York with a storied past and a thriving business sector. Commercial real estate developers and investors alike flock to the city to capitalize on its popularity.

Average monthly rent in Manhattan surpassed $5,000 in June 2022. The average cost of a home in Manhattan is also astronomical: $1.4 million.


All figures presented in this article are based on’s commercial real estate listing data in corroboration with other freely available data and information covering the commercial real estate industry.

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