MANASSAS, Va. – Homeowners who buy in Virginia’s Prince William County or in Maryland’s Frederick County get more home for their money than people in the inner suburbs, but a new study finds the cost of transportation may outweigh the affordability of the exurbs.
For example, someone who lives downtown in Dupont Circle pays an average $636 on transportation a month, while someone in Damascus pays $1,447 a month, according to The Examiner.
At $12,664 a year, D.C. ranks eighth in terms of the lowest annual commuting costs, the Center for Neighborhood Technology says. The center used Census data between 2000 and 2009 for its rankings
New York is the lowest at $10,158. The city with the highest annual commuting cost is Birmingham, Ala., at $14,928.
The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index analysis of nearly 900 communities concludes nearly three-quarters of American communities are unaffordable places to live once housing and transportation costs are combined. If just housing costs are used to calculate affordability, 76 percent of the communities are considered affordable.
People living in areas with access to transit, jobs and amenities saw smaller increases in transportation costs than those who lived in communities dependent on cars.
Since 2000, median transportation costs nationwide rose 39 percent and median housing costs went up nearly 37 percent. Income, though, only increased 22 percent.
Here are the communities with the lowest annual commuting costs:
New York, $10,158
San Francisco, $11,980
Los Angeles, $12,154
San Jose, $12,914
WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.