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You're going to need a little more than some pocket change and luck to afford to live in one of the Tar Heel state's most expensive places. For many, you're going to need a miracle and a job that pays at least $24,756/year. Unfortunately, HomeSnacks can't help with a miracle, but we did help by creating a list of the top ten most expensive places in North Carolina for 2023 and the list is below.
Incidentally, if you don't currently have a booming bank account, don't worry. Places that made our top ten list like Wilmington and Asheville might be some of the most expensive places to buy a home, but the least expensive to rent.
Yes, in order to determine the most expensive places in North Carolina, we looked at the American Community Survey for the home price to income ratio and the rent to income ratio for North Carolina places with at least 5,000 residents. This gave us 132 North Carolina places that you're going to need to win a hefty Powerball to live comfortably.
Did we mention that this is our tenth time ranking North Carolina's most expensive places? That's right, we know what we're talking about. So, it would be in your best interest to take a look at our list below before you make any major financial decisions.
What's the most expensive place to live in North Carolina? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Boone is the most expensive place to live in North Carolina.
So hopefully Newton (the cheapest place to live in North Carolina) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about North Carolina and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In North Carolina For 2023
The median income in Boone comes in at $24,756 and the median home value is $272,500 for 2023.
The median income in Woodfin comes in at $52,732 and the median home value is $284,900 for 2023.
The median income in Morehead City comes in at $47,058 and the median home value is $295,300 for 2023.
The median income in Asheville comes in at $58,193 and the median home value is $319,400 for 2023.
The median income in Elon comes in at $68,031 and the median home value is $304,800 for 2023.
The median income in Wilmington comes in at $54,066 and the median home value is $279,900 for 2023.
The median income in St. James comes in at $115,040 and the median home value is $473,700 for 2023.
The median income in Pineville comes in at $53,199 and the median home value is $254,300 for 2023.
The median income in Chapel Hill comes in at $77,037 and the median home value is $454,300 for 2023.
The median income in Hendersonville comes in at $46,309 and the median home value is $217,200 for 2023.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Tar Heel State For 2023
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in North Carolina to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 132 places in North Carolina that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in North Carolina according to the data is Boone. You can download the data here.
Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In North Carolina For 2023
Well there you have it, the places in North Carolina that have the highest cost of living, with Boone ranking as the most expensive city in the Tar Heel State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in North Carolina according to the data:
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In North Carolina
- Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina
- Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina
- Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina
- Safest Cities in North Carolina
- Worst Places To Live In North Carolina
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In North Carolina
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