Real Estate

Here are the 25 costliest places to live in the U.S.

Beach towns make up most of the list

In some markets, you can get a lot for your money. In others, well, it's the opposite.

Here are the 25 housing markets where buyers have to pay the largest percentage of their income to afford a house, courtesy of U.S. News' Best Places to Live report for 2019. 

The No. 1 costliest on the list? San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

With a median home listing price of $121,800 and median annual salary of $29,820, San Juan has the highest cost of living with residents needing to fork over nearly 32% of their income to live. San Juan gives credit to tourism for boosting the economy.

Based on the 125 most populous places to live in the U.S., the national median cost of living is 23.58% of income. The national average median salary is $50,620, putting San Juan well below the rest of the country in annual salary.

However, the unemployment rate in San Juan is almost double the rest of the states, at 7.7%. Put that all together and you see why San Juan is ranked No. 125 out of 125 places to live in the country overall. 

Rounding out the list of the 25 costliest cities in the U.S. is Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

At No. 25, the beach town is sought out by both homeowners and vacationers alike. With a median home price of $220,275 and median annual salary of $47,410, 25.82% of the average income is spent on housing expenses. 

Here are the 25 most expensive places to live in the U.S.:

  1. San Juan, Puerto Rico

  2. Miami, Florida

  3. Los Angeles, California

  4. New York, New York

  5. San Diego, California

  6. Santa Barbara, California

  7. Salinas, California

  8. Honolulu, Hawaii

  9. Santa Rosa, California

  10. Daytona Beach, Florida

  11. Port St. Lucie, Florida

  12. Stockton, California

  13. Modesto, California

  14. Fresno, California

  15. San Francisco, California

  16. Orlando, Florida

  17. Sacramento, California

  18. Fort Myers, Florida

  19. New Haven, Connecticut

  20. McAllen, Texas

  21. San Jose, California

  22. Brownsville, Texas

When calculating these lists, median mortgage payments, property taxes and median rents are calculated when deciding how to rank the cities. Then, housing costs and local median annual household income are compared to determine the affordability. 

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