It’s hard out there

Houston's cost of 'living comfortably' spiked this much in 2018

Houston's cost of 'living comfortably' spiked this much in 2018

Houston park with skyline
Living comfortably in Houston is getting more expensive. Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Getty Images

The cost of living in Houston has gotten, shall we say, costlier than it has in many other major U.S. cities, according to a new study from personal finance website GOBankingRates.

The study finds that from 2017 to 2018, the cost to live “comfortably” in Houston jumped 23.45 percent, or $13,182, from 2017 to 2018. Among the country’s 50 largest cities, Houston ranked 20th for steepest hike in the cost of living.

GOBankingRates’ study examines the amount of money needed to pay for necessities such as food, rent, utilities, transportation, and healthcare, as well as the amounts that should be budgeted for savings and discretionary spending. These costs then were folded into a “live comfortably” income to determine the cities where it’s becoming more difficult to make ends meet.

Still, the cost-of-living situation in Houston isn’t as dire as it is in Austin.

GOBankingRates ranks Austin second for the biggest increase on the “live comfortably” index, rising 33.92 percent from 2017 to 2018. The study shows that Austin’s year-over-year increase of $18,532 was the largest among the 50 cities.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Arlington lands at No. 5 after jumping 30.53 percent (or $14,172) from 2017 to 2018.
  • Fort Worth appears at No. 6, with a jump of 29.44 percent (or $15,610) in Fort Worth.
  • San Antonio comes in at No, 10, with a jump of 26.76 percent (or $12,350).

In all, one-fifth of the study’s top 20 cities are in Texas.

GOBankingRates researcher Andrew DePietro says the appearance of five Texas cities in the top 20 is a reflection of the state’s economic and population growth.

“Texas has been particularly hot in terms of real estate and Americans migrating to the state,” DePietro says. “The increase in population and wealth, via more jobs, leads to a steady increase in general cost of living, but especially housing.”