Average Cost Of Living In North Carolina

Living in North Carolina is less pricey than the national average across the U.S. as a whole and has the 19th lowest overall cost of living. Not to mention that the goods and services in North Carolina cost approximately 8% less compared to nationwide, it’s quite apparent that “living is easy” in the Tar Heel State. 

However, some exceptions exist, and living in metro areas is more expensive than living in more rural areas. Raleigh metro area is the most costly area statewide, as its average cost of goods and service is 4.8% higher than the statewide average. However, it’s still 3.4% lower than the national average cost of living.

Real Estate Market in North Carolina

Real Estate Market in North Carolina

The North Carolina real estate market is keeping up with the national housing market. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina is currently experiencing low interest rates, increased savings, and relatively low unemployment, all the factors contributing to a rising environment in which local property prices saw exponential growth

However, midway through 2021, the North Carolina real estate market has experienced record appreciation rates, which eliminated all reasons to believe that the local real estate value won’t continue to rise to unprecedented heights throughout the rest of the year. 

As a result, the real estate investing sector in North Carolina already took precautions and modified its exit strategies to suit long-term expectations. Relatively low living and housing costs and rising home value caused increased activity in the real estate market in North Carolina. 

Namely, homeowners interested in selling their secondary property are referring to Tiffany Property Investments, since we buy houses North Carolina residents are looking to sell – preventing you from chasing potential buyers while holding “Buy My House Charlotte” written on a banner.

Top North Carolina Real Estate Markets

Real estate investors are paying particular attention to the following North Carolina cities: 

·        Asheville — Forecasted 300,000 inhabitants by 2030

·        Charlotte — Real estate buyers seek new employment opportunities in North Carolina, paired with a relatively low cost of living 

·        Fayetteville — The recipient of the All-America City Award, has developed a reputation as a fantastic place to live due to its small-town friendliness and low cost of living expenses 

·        Raleigh — The relatively stable housing market, paired with a 5% unemployment rate

·        Wilmington — A port city with access to beautiful beaches and a trade hub for the entire state

·        Winston-Salem — A stable housing market paired with picturesque landscapes and a low cost of living

Cost of Living in North Carolina

Considering the average cost of living in North Carolina, especially when compared to the rest of the nation, North Carolina isn’t an expensive state to live in. In fact, an increasing number of people are leaving their current states because the cost of living is too high. 

Suppose you’re looking to leave your expensive state in favor of one in which you can live more comfortably. In that case, you need to consider the cost-of-living categories in North Carolina, especially how they compare to the national average. 

Housing Costs in North Carolina

The median home value in North Carolina is approximately $174,000, which means that the housing market is thriving. However, the largest cities feature more expensive price tags, and median home values in Charlotte and Raleigh are considerably higher at $208,000 and $282,000, respectively. All home prices are rounded approximates. 

Rent prices are also more affordable than the national median, and renters usually pay approximately $900 average rent for a two-bedroom apartment, opposing the $1,175 U.S. median. That’s more than a $250 difference in favor of North Carolina, but these medians vary city by city. 

Utilities and Bills

Utility costs are some of the most challenging budget items to adjust to when moving to a different state, considering they vary dramatically based on weather, location, personal use, and the provider. Luckily, North Carolina’s basic utility costs, including gas, electricity, and water, cost less than the $240 national average.

In its largest and most expensive cities, Raleigh and Charlotte, monthly utility bills cost approximately $142 and $134 respectively. Greensboro is the most expensive in this regard, considering that the monthly utility bill costs $151. 

The prices of cell phones and internet service aren’t included in the aforementioned estimates, however, an average American spends roughly $94 per month for cell phone service and $30 to $60 for an internet service provider. 

Transportation Costs

90.5% of North Carolina commuters drive to work, compared to 85.5% nationwide commuters. In addition, the gallon of gas in North Carolina carries an average price of $2.71% per gallon, which is lower than the national average of $2.90.

North Carolina also has a public transportation system, and monthly bus travel expenses cost you approximately $88, while an Express pass costs $121. As a result, Express Plus and its benefits will set you back $176.

Health and Medical Costs

Health and Medical Costs

Healthcare in North Carolina is in line with the national average, merely a few dollars lower for a single health insurance coverage. However, this varies by local areas; Raleigh is 1% above the national average, Greensboro matches the national media, and Durham is a whopping 7% below it. Charlotte is more expensive, unfortunately, and healthcare prices are 18% higher than the national median. 

Food and Shopping

In North Carolina, a family of four spends approx. $8,900 annually on food, bought in a grocery store for home preparation. For context, the nationwide average for a family of four is a few dollars above the $9,300 mark. 

Actual food prices vary; a dozen eggs in Charlotte equates to $2.40, whereas in Greensboro, residents pay $1.95 for a dozen eggs. However, bread prices are generally the same. 

Childcare Costs

Child care adds thousands of dollars in annual spending, and in North Carolina, the cost of child care for a four-year-old child is $8,100, which is just slightly lower than the $8,900 national average. 


North Carolina has flat income tax rates of 5.25%. They are admittedly the highest flat tax rates among the states that offer them. However, those are mediated with an average property tax rate of 0.86%. These rates are set by local governments, so they vary from city to city. Durham has the highest property tax rate in North Carolina, at 1.22%, while Macon’s is the lowest at a mere 0.44%. 

North Carolina Cost of Living Index 

A cost-of-living index measures the relative cost of living over time and in different regions. It basically measures the differences in the price of goods and services between regions, in this nationwide cost of living, and North Carolina statewide cost of living. 

Our cost of living indices is based on the U.S. average of 100. Any amount below 100 means that North Carolina is less expensive than the nationwide average. Any amount above 100 means that North Carolina is more expensive. 

  • The overall cost of living 90.60 / 100
  • Groceries 96.5 / 100
  • Health 107.5 / 100
  • Housing 81 / 100
  • Utilities 99.2 / 100
  • Transportation 83.9 / 100
  • Miscellaneous 96.2 / 100
  • Median Home Cost $242,300 / $291,700


Generally, living costs in North Carolina are lower than the national average, except for health services, which vary by city. If you’re from North Carolina and you’re interested in selling your primary or secondary residence, contact Tiffany Property Investments. If you’re looking to sell fast, check your cash for houses program, which can help you avoid any mortgage paying trouble.

Why wait months to sell your home when Tiffany Property Investment offers fast solutions and cash payments, regardless of the condition your house is in.

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