Study names Jacksonville most expensive city in North Carolina

A study done by 24/7 Wall St. said Jacksonville is the most expensive place to live in our state.

Town officials were surprised by the findings and said the study used incorrect data in its calculations.

“When the study came out, the city was certainly surprised with the results, said City of Jacksonville City Manager Richard Woodruff.

We believe that the reason it shows Jacksonville as such an expensive place to live is that the data is spread over a period of five or six years.”

Woodruff said the study took information from 2010. While North Carolina’s cost of living is 8.4 % below the U.S. average, the study indicated that Jacksonville was only 3.7 % below that national average.

In addition, Jacksonville’s median income was approximately $51,000, about $5500 less than the typical household in the state.

“The difference between 2010 and 2015 is that at the time, we were slightly under built as far as rentals go, said Matt Ray, owner of Ray Properties.

In between that time from 10 to 15, we actually built approximately 3000 or so rentals. So now we’re seeing an almost over abundance of those rentals which does cause the market to bring down those rental rates which shows the median income drop.”

An example of this would be a three bedroom three bath property currently on the market for $800. In 2010, it would have rented for approximately $1200 a month.

Officials said this 20% decrease is due to a large number of houses on the market and more military families living on base.

The study also indicated that Jacksonville is more costly to live in than North Carolina’s 14 metropolitan areas.

It also placed Jacksonville’s cost of living above areas that are other state’s most expensive cities, including Atlanta.

Woodruff said the study was invalid due to the large number of military who have now moved on base and the study must be re-evaluated before it names Jacksonville as the most expensive city in the state.

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