The Big Differences in Cost of Living in Miami vs. New York

The Big Differences in Cost of Living in Miami vs. New York

Oct 13, 2023 October 13, 2023

New York has traditionally been considered an expensive city, and just last year it tied with Singapore as the most expensive in the world to live in. On the other hand, Miami only saw its cost of living rise in recent years as the city matures and new residents and out-of-town investments are making it the hot locale it is today. But can we go as far as to say Miami is more expensive than New York? Let’s dive in. 

To take a comprehensive look at the cost of living in Miami vs. New York, we quoted directly from several sources, each with their own takes on comparing two of the most popular cities in the world and their cost differentials. Of course, this measure is ultimately impacted by each person’s income, and salaries and incomes are known to be quite higher in New York City than in Miami. Plus, New York is over 15 times the size of Miami in terms of population

However, in this post, we’ll dissect every aspect of living in both cities and tell you what it means for your pocket if you’re considering a move in either direction.

— Housing in
Miami vs. NYC

In Miami, the costs of rent and homeownership can vary significantly, depending on whether you want to live in a popular neighborhood like South Beach or Brickell or one farther out in the suburbs like Kendall or Doral. And even then, cost fluctuates based on the kind of home you’re looking for and if it's near water.

As of October 2023, the median rent price for a 2-bedroom condo or apartment in Miami was $2,919, according to data from Zillow, with a median rent of $3280. This represents a jump of more than $200 per month, year-over-year. As Miami real estate experts, we should point out that this number includes many of the southern and western suburbs, so if you are looking to rent in Miami’s most popular neighborhoods, expect rents to be higher. This increase can largely be attributed to the high influx of people to Miami, and the relocation of high net-worth individuals and major companies in the area, as demand outpaces supply.

Manhattan Cityscape - NYCManhattan Cityscape - NYC
View of Manhattan overlooking Central Park

As expected, the cost of housing in Miami will be your highest living expense, but it’s still nowhere near the prices you see in New York City. 

Up in The Big Apple, the median price for a 2-bedroom condo or apartment is $4,896. That’s 40% more expensive than in Miami. Only rents for 4+ bedroom condos or apartments in the Magic City surpass NYC. And again, the caveat here is Zillow’s estimates include large areas in their calculations.

South Beach - MIA
View of South Beach - MIA

So let’s dive a little deeper and compare, for example, rents by zip code for Brickell (aka the Manhattan of the South), and Manhattan. 

What do we find? For the zip code of 33131, the median rent in October 2023 for two-bedroom apartments and condos was $4,153. For the zipcode of 10017, Manhattan’s Midtown, the median rent for a 2-bedroom is $6,000. However, if you go south into Lower Manhattan, rents jump. The median price for a 2-bedroom in zip code 10007 near Tribeca is $10,000 per month. 

What About Buying a House in
NYC vs. Miami?

Much of what has been said about renting in New York City can also be said of buying there. Across all five boroughs, the average New York home value, as of October 2023, is $733,845, with a decrease of 6.4% year-over-year. Meanwhile, in Miami, the average home value rings in at $561,053, which is a much lower value even considering that it had a 5.8% increase year over year.

Overall, New Yorkers spend 246% more on housing than people in Miami-Dade County, making Miami unarguably less expensive to own property in. Furthermore, people can get more space for their money, making it an attractive location for New York City residents to migrate to.

— Comparing Food Prices in
NYC vs. Miami

Food costs are slightly above the country’s average in Miami compared to soaring food prices in New York City. In Miami, as of September 2023, a gallon of milk costs $4.20, a loaf of bread costs $3.34, and a carton of a dozen eggs costs $5.22. So, for residents who cook at home and avoid eating out at Miami’s top restaurants, maintaining a healthy, fulfilling diet for $150 per week or less is realistic in Miami.

NYC Food Stand
NYC Food Stand

Meanwhile, New York is one of the country's most expensive cities for food. A trip to the grocery store for essentials like bread, milk, and eggs will cost you, in some cases, almost double the national average. Going out to eat — no surprise — is equally expensive. 

Overall, New Yorkers spend between 15-20% more on groceries and dining than someone buying the same things in Miami, which can also be a determining factor in expat guides about living in Miami

— How Is Transportation in Both Cities?

In Miami, even though more and more people are forgoing car ownership, it’s still extremely common to own a car, and many would say necessary. Meanwhile, in New York City, it isn’t as common. Unfortunately, both cities are among the most expensive in the country for car owners due to high insurance rates, gas prices, and tolls, among other costs.

Brickell Ave - Miami Downtown
Brickell Ave - Miami Downtown

One of the primary reasons is parking. And, in NYC, a parking spot is another form of real estate and it’s just as expensive. If you want to park your car in a lot,
the rate in New York City averages about $600 per month but can surpass the thousand-dollar mark in some areas of Manhattan. It would be like renting your car a bedroom in the city. Miami’s silver lining when it comes to parking is that it is usually, but not always, included with your home, condo, or apartment.

Subway - Downtown NYC
Subway - Downtown NYC

Now, when it comes to public transportation, Miami’s monthly pass is cheaper than New York’s, with the first one going for $112.50 and the latter for $132, although New York’s system is much bigger and much more comprehensive than Miami’s. 

Finally, you should add to this the occasional taxi and ride-sharing service and you’ve got similar costs for transportation in both cities.

— Entertainment in
Miami vs. NYC

In New York, you can find the entire gamut of entertainment options, from the extremely expensive to the free, and lots of it. Although that is also true of Miami, as the city is a fantastic cultural destination, New York takes first prize for the sheer number of entertainment and cultural options available, 24-7. It’s where you’ll find the country's greatest concentration of art and culture.

Broadway - NYC
Broadway - NYC

However, New York is more expensive for fun things you pay for. For example, seeing a movie in Miami costs $15.00 per ticket, while in New York City, it’s $18, a 20% increase. Moreover, a ticket to a Broadway musical in NYC can run into the hundreds of dollars, easily. In contrast, a ticket to the traveling production of the same show in Miami is still expensive but probably half the price or less for the same seats.

— What About Healthcare?

Although both cities have great options, healthcare is 11% more expensive in Manhattan and 7% more expensive in Brooklyn than healthcare in Miami-Dade County. 

— Difference in the Cost of Utilities

In Miami, utility bills vary by the season. Air conditioning is necessary throughout most of the year, especially in the summer when the heat combines with the humidity, but turning your heat on is only necessary a few days or weeks out of the year. Miami residents are simply not subject to heating their homes during the winter like in New York. Additionally, heating with gas is not common at all in Miami, so living here you won’t likely have a gas bill.

Modern Kicthen

Moreover, energy is one of those items you can add to the growing list of things that are more expensive in New York City. Over there, the average cost of electricity for 2023 is 21.71¢ per kilowatt/hour, whereas the average cost of electricity in Miami is 14.21¢ per kilowatt/hour. 

Your total monthly expense will depend on the size of your home, how many people live in it, and how modern your appliances are, but generally, it should be cheaper than in The Big Apple.

— Comparing Taxes in New York City vs. Miami

For a more detailed look, check our comprehensive comparison between Florida taxes vs. New York’s, but to give you a peek, the short answer is that New York’s taxes are much higher across the board.

Calculating taxes

New York has a state income tax, as well as a city income tax. However, Florida has no income taxes. So, naturally, due to the lack of income tax, Florida is becoming more and more attractive to businesses and wealthy New York residents to relocate, thus gaining points in the old Miami vs. New York property race.

— Frequently Asked Questions

What Salary Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Miami?

According to the 50/30/20 budget, which accounts for your basics (50% of your salary), wants (30%), and savings (20%), if you are single, without children, you must earn between $60,000 to  $70,000 a year to live comfortably in Miami-Dade County. Of course, everyone’s definition of comfort is slightly different, and it largely depends on your interpretation, considering Miami has a substantial luxury housing market. 

However, this figure represents what it would take to afford modest necessities and have a bit of disposable income left over. In New York, you would need at least $115,000 of gross annual income to live equivalently due to state and city income taxes (based on 2022 numbers). 

How Much Cheaper Is Miami Than New York City?

According to a study by SmartAsset, people earning six-figure salaries in cities like New York can save almost $200,000 annually in cost of living expenses and taxes. 

While the cost of living in the Miami area is 23% higher than the national average, in New York it reaches 137%, which makes living in Miami 114% cheaper than in New York.

— So What’s the Bottom Line in the New York vs. Miami Debate? 

As we’ve seen, Miami is still significantly less expensive than New York City, despite recent increases in Miami housing costs. This is due mainly to the tax savings and other expenses still being cheaper in The Magic City. So if you’re considering moving to Miami from NYC, you’ll find significant cost savings and likely a raise in your standard of living. What is more, the Miami real estate forecast for 2024 is extremely favorable.

And not only is Miami cheaper than New York, but MIA residents enjoy stunning beaches and amazing weather year-round in the center of a vibrant international cultural hub. If you feel like making the move, let us be your guide. Explore all available listings at CondoBlackBook or contact us and we’ll be happy to help you every step of the way!

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