Why Is Asheville So Expensive? (Cost Breakdown)

Asheville is going through a crisis of low supply and high demand in the city, thus making it so expensive. The income tax, two different types of sales, and property tax also raise the cost of living in the city. 

Asheville is loved for its proximity to the great outdoors, with rivers, hiking, and camping within easy reach in the nearby Appalachians and the majestic scenery around the Blue Ridge Mountains. The place is also famous for the Biltmore Estate, which stands in the city’s heart in all its glory.

But why is Asheville so expensive? If so, what is the average cost of living in this paradise?

This is what we will be discussing in this article. We will also find out why Asheville is so much more expensive than other cities in North Carolina.

We will only go a little into the city’s real estate business and other expenses. Still, we will provide you with a definitive guide on the subject, including the taxes in Asheville.

Why Is Asheville So Expensive?

Why Is Asheville So Expensive?

Asheville is an expensive neighborhood where only people employed in a high-paying sector or belonging to an old-money household primarily live.

Asheville is a ‘little gem’ nestled right at the foot of the mountains. It is known for its charming and quiet environment but also for sky-high exorbitant prices.

Many reasons play into this factor, whether it is because of the scenery, the most extensive and most expensive real estate in the United States, or even a higher-than-average cost of living. 

Usually, the cost of living in Asheville is way more compared to other metropolitan areas such as New York City and Los Angeles.

Still, this quaint little city’s lack of high-paying jobs is also high. The university and hospitals in the city might be an excellent fit for many professions, but that’s about it, and there are often no job openings at any of these.

With a high housing cost as well as the cost of living, with all the necessities and leisure, the expenses that come out are relatively higher than anticipated—eating out, having a car, and taking vacations, even if once a year on a strict budget, might affect your expenses altogether.

Utilities like internet, phone bills, water, and electricity are more expensive here than in cities like New York or Los Angeles. 

What Is The Cost Of Living In Asheville Like?

The cost of living in Asheville, NC, is 8% higher than the state average and 4% higher than the national average (about $61,334 pa).

If you plan to live in Asheville, a quaint little city in North Carolina, it will be as expensive, if not more, as it is in New York. Only there are no job opportunities in the city to match the living standards of other local people.

While the cost of living is 4% higher than the national average, housing in Asheville is about 11% more expensive than the national average. 

Utilities like internet, electricity, or water bills generally depend on various factors but still are 6% pricier than the average.

Other necessities like food and clothing are 1% pricier if you are eating in but go up to a whopping 12% if you are eating out. 

Healthcare services are also 12% pricier, and entertainment costs about 10% more than the national average.

Why Is Asheville Housing So Expensive?

The average monthly rent for a studio apartment is about 1640 USD per month in Asheville.

The average monthly rent for a studio, one bed, one bath apartment is about 1640 USD in Asheville; however, if you want to buy some property, the price per square foot starts at $304.

This means if you are looking to buy a house, the prices circle $459,418 on average.

Thus, Asheville’s real estate is overpriced, and you need half a million to buy a decent house in the city, at the least.

Similarly, other utilities like internet, water, and electricity are overpriced but depend on usage.

1. Internet Bill

Generally, you will be looking at a 55 USD a month plan for your internet services; however, if you are looking for faster network speed or internet hotspots, you will likely have to pay a little over 120 USD to 170 USD.

This depends on the plan and bandwidth that fits you and your family.

2. Electricity Bill

Electricity is another necessary utility in the city that is a little more expensive than anticipated.

Typically, you would expect a 200 USD to 500 USD electricity bill if you live in a bed-and-bath studio apartment, but this can increase or decrease as you use the energy source.

It gets pretty hot in Asheville during the summer season, so it is normal to have a higher-than-normal electricity bill, especially if you love to keep the AC running the whole day.

Winters are not that cold, so you don’t necessarily need a thermostat and, thus, save on the bill.

3. Water Bill

There is an average of 80 USD monthly water bill if you live in a one-bed and-bath studio apartment, but this can increase or decrease depending on usage.

It gets expensive if you have a big house or family.

However, many homes in Asheville, especially those located a little further from the main town area, have a special are for ground wells. If those wells are adequately maintained, you can utilize the groundwater and thus save more on the water bill.

4. Food and Groceries

Eating out daily can be a little expensive in Asheville so consider buying your groceries and eating in often.

You can also look out for farmers’ markets in the area and look for fresh, sustainable, and locally sourced fruits and vegetables that are also cheaper than the ones in supermarkets sometimes.

Stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Aldi are all excellent for buying a lot of stuff for cheaper, thus saving you a few extra bucks.

How High Are Taxes In Asheville?

Income tax in Asheville is about 5.25%, and sales tax is about 7% currently.

While many states do not have an income tax, North Carolina has a 5.25% income tax.

In Asheville, you also have to pay two separate property taxes, Asheville city taxes and Buncombe County taxes.

The minimum combined 2022 sales tax rate for Asheville, North Carolina, is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates where the North Carolina sales tax rate is currently 4.75% and the County sales tax rate is 2.25%.

Final Remarks

In this article, we tried to understand why Asheville is so expensive and what is the average cost of living in the city.

Here’s a quick recap.

Why is Asheville so expensive? Asheville is famous for its scenery, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Biltmore Estate, which leads to a crisis of low supply and high demand in the city, thus making it so expensive.