Expensive, as a description of a city, can be measured in several ways. One is by the cost of living. Another is the pace at which prices to live in the city increase. By the second measure, Miami tops the ranks among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. It is America’s most expensive city to live in now.
Based on consumer price index (CPI) data for October, prices rose 7.4%, about two times the national average. Unlike most cities and the country as a whole, the year-over-year CPI increase reached nearly 8% two years ago, but it has never dropped. (These are the states where inflation is stressing people out the most.)
Two major components of prices increased less than the figure overall. Food prices rose 4.5% year over year. Energy prices were up 5.7%.
The price increase in housing pounded Miami. Residential real estate prices rose 12.8%. While energy price increases overall were tame, the price of energy used in residences rose 10.5%, mostly because of electricity. No wonder it is now America’s most expensive city.
Apparel prices rose 13.0%, and non-alcoholic beverages rose 8.6%.
Miami did see the price of some components of the CPI decline. Used car prices dropped 8.0%, and medical costs were down slightly.
The news shows the extent to which inflation is uneven across the United States, not unlike prices of gasoline and real estate. This year, Miami is the unlikely one across America’s metros.
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