Cost of Owning Home Soars 26 Percent Since Covid Pandemic Began

Property taxes were the second-largest cost in high-tax states like New Jersey and Connecticut.

AP/Matt Rourke, file
A home under construction marked as 'SOLD' at a development at Eagleville, Pennsylvania. AP/Matt Rourke, file

The cost of owning a home in the United States has seen a significant rise, increasing by 26 percent since 2020, according to data from Bankrate.

The surge, based on based on Redfin’s March median sales price of $436,291, is attributed to escalating expenses such as taxes, insurance, and utilities, exacerbated by a period of high inflation.

“It was really eye-opening to see just how much it costs to maintain a home,” an analyst at Bankrate, Jeff Ostrowski, tells The Financial Post. “Until you own a house, it doesn’t dawn on you how much money you’re throwing into the house every month and year.”

Bankrate’s analysis revealed that the average annual expenditure for owning and maintaining a typical single-family home, excluding mortgage payments, reached $18,118 as of March. This marks a monthly increase of $1,510 compared to four years ago, when pandemic lockdowns began.

The report considered various factors, including property taxes, home insurance, energy costs, and internet and cable bills. It also included 2 percent of the home’s sales price for maintenance, an expense often underestimated by buyers.

Home maintenance emerged as the largest share of ownership costs. States that experienced significant hikes in home prices during the pandemic saw the most substantial percentage increases in overall expenses.

Property taxes were the second-largest cost in high-tax states like New Jersey and Connecticut, while energy bills took second place in other regions.

Utah homeowners faced the largest increases over the past four years, with expenses soaring by 44 percent. Idaho followed with a 39 percent increase, and Hawaii saw a 38 percent rise. Conversely, Alaska and Texas experienced the smallest increases, at 14 percent.


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