Charlotte, NC is known as the Queen City. However, you needn’t pay a royal ransom to live in this booming southeastern city. The current cost of living in Charlotte NC is below the national average.
You’ll figure several expense categories into the calculations to determine the cost of living in Charlotte. These include: housing, utilities, groceries and transportation.
The average home price in Charlotte, NC is lower than other major U.S. cities such as Jacksonville, Chicago, or New York. Plus, NeighborhoodScout reports the homeownership rate for Charlotte is 53.1%.
Realtor.com shows the median sold home price in Charlotte at $288,000. The median list price per square foot in Charlotte is $169, and the median rent price is $1,525. The real estate site predicts home values will continue to grow 3.3% in the next year.
According to Payscale, Charlotte’s housing costs are 5% below the national average with utilities, groceries, and transportation all below average as well. Payscale reports the median energy bill is $153.91 a month and phone bill is $164.06 a month. A doctor’s visit is $114.14 on average with the dentist at $98.06 while, with grocery prices 6% lower than average, a loaf of bread will cost $3.12 and a carton of eggs $1.70.
Charlotte’s transportation costs are kept in check by the range of transportation options including the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail, The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Bus Service, a host of ride-share services, single-use scooters, and bike-share programs. If you’re going to drive, gas isn’t too bad. As of November 2020 GasBuddy data, the average price of a gallon of gas in Charlotte is $1.94 (compared to the national average of $2.10).
SmartAsset describes “tax situation in Charlotte and North Carolina” as “favorable.” Noting that in 2013, the state began charging a 5.499% flat income tax instead of its former progressive income tax. Plus, Charlotte does not have a city income tax.
Explaining the Cost of Living in Charlotte, NC
One reason for these trends in Charlotte NC living? North Carolina is consistently one of the country’s most populated states, and Charlotte is drawing a lot of new residents.
Living in Charlotte means being in a major commerce center, the second-largest banking center in the country, and being able to easily get where you want via Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which is the 23rd busiest airport in the world. The Queen City is also home to the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets, two NASCAR races, trendy restaurants, a vibrant arts community, and welcoming green spaces.
The city is the third fastest-growing in the U.S. With a 2020 population of 905,318, Charlotte ranked 15th largest city. It’s predicted to grow to about 2.74 million by 2030.
Comparing Cost of Living in Charlotte, NC
Weighing a move to the Raleigh-Durham area instead of Charlotte? Charlotte NC living is 3.3% less expensive, according to Best Places to Live. It helps that average home prices in Charlotte, NC are 16.5% less expensive. On the other hand, health-related expenses in the Medicine City are 7.3% less than in Charlotte.
Another top candidate for people looking to live in the sunny Carolinas is Charleston, SC. Yet Charleston is 12.7% more expensive. That’s because the median home cost is 38% more expensive in Charleston than in Charlotte, again according to Best Places to Live.
Take into consideration also, Charlotte’s high rankings in U.S. News’s rankings of best places to live and to retire. Charlotte ranked 6 of 150 cities in the 2020 report for best places to live. Plus, the city was 23rd for best places to retire. These calculations consider, of course, the cost of living in Charlotte, as well as the value of living in Charlotte and people’s desire to live there.
“You’ll frequently hear the word ‘manageable’ used to describe Charlotte,” the U.S. News profile stated. “Its climate is more manageable than Florida’s and its housing prices and living expenses are more manageable than New York City.”
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