Home » Homeownership Expenses Soar 26% in Post-Pandemic Economy

Homeownership Expenses Soar 26% in Post-Pandemic Economy

by Richard A Reagan

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, homeownership costs in the United States have risen sharply, jumping 26% as property taxes, insurance, and utility bills escalate in a high-inflation environment.

The personal finance website Bankrate reports that the annual costs of owning and maintaining a typical single-family home—excluding mortgage payments—have climbed to $18,118 as of March, up from $1,510 per month four years earlier. These findings are based on a median home sales price of $436,291, as reported by Redfin in March.

Jeff Ostrowski, an analyst at Bankrate, expressed his astonishment at the steep costs associated with home maintenance.

“It was really eye-opening to see just how much it costs to maintain a home,” said Ostrowski. “Until you own a house, it doesn’t dawn on you how much money you’re throwing into the house every month and year.”

The Bankrate study incorporated several factors into the cost calculations, including property taxes, home insurance, energy expenses, internet and cable bills, and an estimation of 2% of the home’s value for maintenance.

Notably, home maintenance represented the largest segment of ownership costs, with significant regional variations. States with substantial increases in home purchase prices during the pandemic, such as New Jersey and Connecticut, experienced the most pronounced rises in total ownership expenses.

In terms of regional impacts, Utah homeowners were hit hardest, witnessing a 44% hike in home-related expenses. Following closely were Idaho and Hawaii, with increases of 39% and 38%, respectively. In stark contrast, states like Alaska and Texas saw relatively modest rises of 14%.

These escalating costs vary widely across the country, with annual homeownership expenses ranging from $11,559 in Kentucky to a staggering $29,015 in Hawaii.

Ostrowski acknowledged that the estimated costs might be somewhat overstated for owners of newly constructed homes, which typically require fewer repairs. Nonetheless, he advised potential buyers to prepare adequately. “It’s certainly better to be over-prepared and have some extra money sitting in a high-yield savings account,” he suggested, “as opposed to under-prepared and scrambling.”

This substantial increase in homeownership costs underscores the broader economic pressures faced by American families during a period of high inflation.

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