What is Cost of Living?
The cost of living is the amount of money necessary to maintain a certain level of living in a specific location over a particular period of time. As a statistical index, this measurement is often used as a tool to compare the financial requirements of living in a certain location city compared to your current place of residence, taking into consideration basic expenses, such as basic services, housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. If you are considering moving to a new city, state, or country, this information would be helpful in providing you with practical insights into the monetary demands of that location.
The cost of living index features the percentage variance in the cost of living between two or more locations. As an index, the cost of living of the primary location is always fixed at 100, while the values for the location/s being compared to it may be higher or lower than 100. If you are currently living in Fort Collins, Colorado and are planning to relocate to Denver, the cost of living index for Fort Collins would always be 100, while the figures for Denver would vary, depending on whether the basic expenses in this city are more expensive or cheaper compared to Fort Collins.
2018 Cost of Living Index in Denver, Colorado
If you are considering relocating to Denver, CO and would want to see if this is a viable decision, you might want to check the cost of living index in this city. The table below shows the cost of living in Denver in comparison with the rest of the state of Colorado and the United States. In this table, the primary location is the United States, so all of the values under this is set at 100, while the values under Denver and Colorado would vary, depending whether the cost of the basic expenses in these locations are higher or lower relative to the rest of the nation.
From the table above, you can see that the cost of living in Denver is 44% higher compared to the cost of living in the entire nation. You can easily identify from this table the expenses are more affordable compared to the national index – groceries, healthcare, and utilities; as well as those which are more expensive – transportation, housing, and miscellaneous expenses.
Housing has the highest cost of living index at 226 – more than double the national index. This is because the median home sale price in Denver, Colorado is $421,900, while the median home cost for the United States is $216,200. Unlike an average, wherein you add up all the prices of homes being sold and then divide by the number of units, the median home price is the value located in the center of all the home prices in Denver lined up, arranged from lowest to highest. It is important to keep in mind that, while the cost of living index provides reliable estimates that can help you assess your plans of relocating to another location, your actual expenses, once you move, may vary from these indexes.
Denver Housing Costs
The real estate market in Denver, Colorado is hot. The values of homes have increased by 7.6% over the previous year and forecasts are optimistic that these values would go up by 5.7% within the next year. The rising trend in housing costs is evident across the country, with homebuyers taking advantage of the current sale price of residential properties and the favorable mortgage rates. In the city of Denver, the median list price per square foot is $424, almost twice the price of the combined average of Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood Metro, which is $266. The current median home sale price of properties listed in Denver is $465,000 while the median price of homes sold is $412,600.
Cost of Utilities in Denver, CO
When it comes to utilities, Denver residents are paying less compared to the national average. The average cost of basic utilities for a 900 square foot apartment is $128.45, while the national average is $159.24. This includes electricity, heating, water, and garbage. The average internet rate in this city is $46.67, slightly less relative to the national average of $47.52.
Cost of Food and Groceries in Denver, CO
Overall, the prices of grocery items in Denver, Colorado are 4.5% lower compared to the national average, making it more practical to prepare your own meals instead of dining at a restaurant. The bill for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Denver would total around $60, 33% higher than the national average of $45. If you are a coffee lover, the average price of a cappuccino is $4.17 in this city, 12% more expensive compared to the national average which is $3.73.
Transportation Expenses in Denver, CO
There are varying price levels for monthly public transit passes for local, express, and regional services in Denver, Colorado. A monthly local service pass costs $79 and, if you would like to upgrade to express service, the rate is $140. A regional pass costs $176. If you have a car and would prefer driving, the average price of a gallon of gas in Denver is $2.76, which is 5% higher than the national average of $2.63. The average annual rate of car insurance in Denver is $1,243.
Cost of Healthcare in Denver, CO
In Denver, Colorado, the average cost of a preventive primary care visit is $134, and the rates range from $120 to $205. This is relatively lower compared to the average cost of primary care in other cities that have the same population size as Denver, such as Boston and Seattle, which is at $193 and $189, respectively.
Moving to Denver, CO
If you are considering relocating to Denver, Colorado, we hope that the information provided in this article has helped you assess how the prospective change in residence would affect your budget. And if you are keen on buying a residential property in the Mile High City, an experienced real estate professional will be your best partner in making sure that you choose the right home. Let me help you in this process. Please feel free to give me a call at 720-437-0224 or send me a message through the form below: