The cost of living in Tampa, Florida, is 2% lower than the state average and 5% lower than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, it is much less expensive than other Florida cities. Its being cheaper than Miami and West Palm Beach does not surprise, but Naples and Sarasota’s smaller cities are also more expensive.
The Institute estimates that a household of two adults and two children would need to earn $77,065 each year to live comfortably. To live in Miami, the same family would need $84,972, but Jacksonville would be less than $74,457. While the cost of living has slightly increased this year, Tampa remains an attractive and affordable city.
Breakdown of Cost of Living in Tampa, Florida
The percentage of monthly income dedicated to housing costs is an excellent indicator of housing affordability in the city. The median home price is $172,100, 6.8% less than the national average. Following the general rule of thumb, homeowners or renters should have a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 28% of gross income on housing costs.
The average income for homeowners in Tampa is $66,453, which leaves at most $1,550 monthly for housing. On the other hand, renters have a monthly income at an average of $32,676, resulting in $762 as the maximum for rents. It was found in a recent data analysis that rent accounts for more than half of residents’ monthly expenses.
The average rent for a 928 sq. ft apartment in Tampa has increased by 2% from last year to $1,373. However, this figure varies based on location and unit type. Lowry Park, Sulphur Springs, and Riverbend are the cheapest neighborhoods to live in. They rent between $1,049/mo to $1,090/mo. Renters can find excellent deals at Old Seminole Heights ($1,105), Wellswood ($1,146), and Drew Park ($1,119).
The more luxurious areas rent for higher at about $1,982 monthly. They include Downtown Tampa, Uptown Tampa, and Harbour Island. More popular areas go for cheaper rents, of which the most popular is Courier City – Oscawana ($1,821). Gandy – Sun Bay South is a great alternative, so are Temple Terrace, Tampa Palms, and Temple Crest. They are $1,492, $1,210, $1,321 and $1,151 per month, respectively.
Though Tampa, Florida is a city where your car would go a long way, public transport systems can suffice. Since 2014, 500 Coast Bikes and several hubs to park them have been available across the city. It costs $1 to unlock and 15 cents a minute to use them. Monthly and annual passes are $20 and $99, respectively.
HART buses are also available and cost $2 one-way. You can get free on the Teco Line streetcar, which stops every 15 minutes with 11 stations along 2.7 miles. Private water taxis, rentable scooters, and Downtowners are alternatives.
Electricity costs are lower in Tampa than the national average at $250. Water and sewage disposal cost $100 a month.
- A gallon of milk – $2.63
- A pound of ground Beef – $4.93
- Can of Beer – $9.39
- 12 large eggs – $2.73