25 Most Expensive Cities to Move

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Detailed Findings & Methodology

Generally, the most expensive cities to live are also the most expensive cities to move — although this is not always the case. Usually, a security deposit equal to one or more month’s rent is the largest cost when moving. In cities where rents are high, security deposits are therefore high as well. The list is dominated by cities with high average rents. The median rent for a three-bedroom housing unit in the five most expensive cities to move — all in California — is between $1,850 and $2,250 per month.

Of the 25 cities on this list, all but three are more expensive to live compared to the average cost of living nationwide.

The vast majority of these areas also report relatively strong population growth. However, seven of the 25 most expensive cities to move reported population declines.

To identify the most expensive cities to move, 24/7 Wall St. calculated a total moving cost in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas based on two measurements: 1. The median price of one month’s rent plus a security deposit of one month’s rent for a three-bedroom housing unit from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey. 2. The estimated moving cost within the most populated zip code in the principal city of each metro area with data from real estate data company Moving Inc.

The cost of living, based on regional price parity in 2015, came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We also considered the 2015 median household income, as well as population change due to net migration from 2010 to 2016 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.