The Tampa area continues to be one of the most affordable major metros in the United States, with a 2017 average annual cost of living index (COLI) of 94.8. At more than five points below the national average, the Tampa market offers relocating and expanding businesses yet another great selling point for recruiting new talent.
So what factor helps keep the Tampa cost of living so reasonable? Housing. The Tampa MSA’s housing index is 77 – a whopping 23 points lower than the national average.
Home buyers and renters can find a better deal in Tampa than in many other competing metro areas. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Tampa averages about $1,008 per month, while a similar apartment in Dallas would average $1,300. A 2,400 square foot, four-bedroom, two-bath home in Tampa has an average price of $227,888, while similar markets in Florida like Orlando and Miami offer an equivalent home for $276,775 and $265,289, respectively.
The COLI survey also looks at the price of grocery items, utilities, transportation costs, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services. While the Tampa market’s indexes for grocery items, utilities, and transportation did come in higher than average – at 100.4, 116.9, and 106.1, respectively – they still didn’t drive up the overall cost of living.
The Tampa MSA’s COLI has fluctuated greatly over the past few years, but the score has never gone above 100. While the area’s current score of 94.8 is up 3.3 points from its 2016 average, the Tampa market is still more affordable overall than Atlanta (99), Dallas (102.1), Orlando (95.5), and Nashville (96.7).
For a more complete look at cost of living reports and historical data on Tampa and Hillsborough County, please visit our Data Center.