America’s Most Expensive Cities

Perhaps this comes as no surprise to some, but New York City has topped the latest list of America’s most expensive cities with a measured cost of living far surpassing that of Houston, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

However, some of you acute Haute Living readers may remember our recent reports discussing how, due to the recession, New Yorkers seem to be cutting back on luxuries such as fine dining and even retail. The city saw the closure of some of its most infamous fine dining restaurants and over the summer J.C. Penney opened its first Manhattan location, citing local demand for discount merchandise.

So how does a city struggling with the finer things in life manage to conquer the nation’s most expensive list? One simple answer: high rent costs. New Yorker’s spend an average of $4,300 a month for a two-bedroom, unfurnished luxury apartment, and while that may sound astronomical to some, New Yorkers can be somewhat happy with the figure, as they were paying an average of $200 more the last time the survey was taken in 2008. Despite the fact that New York City housing prices are actually dropping to some extent, the area’s cost of living remain the highest in the nation. In fact, New York City’s housing cost is almost double that of second-place Los Angeles.

The city of Los Angeles ranked second on the list of America’s most expensive cities, also due to high housing costs, but more specifically due to their long and costly commutes. Los Angeles is renowned for its unfortunate sprawling nature creating terrible traffic and resulting in exorbitant transportation costs. L.A. attracts fast-paced go-getters and individuals looking for a sunny and relaxed climate.

Cities all across the United States have seen a significant jump in their rankings when it comes to the 253 major metropolises around the world. On the global ranking, this year New York ranked 8 while in 2008 it was ranked 22; Los Angeles ranked 23 this year and ranked 50 last year; San Francisco ranked 34 this year and 78 last year; and Honolulu ranked 41 this year and 77 last year.