What Is the Cost of Living in San Antonio? – San Antonio Average Rent, Median Income & More!

erik scheetz
erik scheetz

If you’re thinking about moving to San Antonio, good news! You’ll find that the cost of living in San Antonio is lower than the national average in nearly every category. This makes San Antonio a very affordable city for you, especially if living in a major city is important to you. 

If you haven’t decided on which city to move to in Texas, consider that San Antonio is also more affordable than other Texas cities. San Antonio is 2.7% cheaper than Houston and 11.5% cheaper than Dallas. 

San Antonio Cost of Living

Cost of Living Index

The cost of living index (COLI) compares the expense of living in a metro area to the national average of 100. Factors that go into the COLI include housing, healthcare, groceries, and transportation. The cost of living index gives you a good estimate of how affordable a city is compared to where you’re living now.  

The San Antonio cost of living index is 91.5. That means it’s 8.5% less expensive to live in San Antonio than the national average. The cost of living in San Antonio is also 3% lower than the Texas average, so it’s a really affordable place to reside!

While goods and services are slightly higher than the national average (102.2), San Antonio ranks below the national average in all other areas, including groceries (89.8), healthcare (93.3), transportation (95.1), and utilities (88.8). Housing in San Antonio is 18% lower than the national average, making housing very affordable compared to many other metro areas. Although the general sales tax is 23% higher than the national average, Texas has no state income tax, so it’s 100% lower than the national average.

San Antonio Consumer Price Index

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to measure the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for goods and services. Per the CPI for the San Antonio area, prices increased 9.1% from September 2021 to September 2022. Over the same period, food prices rose 13.4% and energy prices 20.7%. All these numbers are slightly higher than the national average increases.

Consumer Expenditures Survey

Another great way to determine whether San Antonio is an affordable place to live is by looking at the Consumer Expenditures Survey. They provide data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of consumers in the United States. CE data is collected by the Census Bureau for the BLS. 

According to the most recent Consumer Expenditures Survey for 2021, the average household expenditures nationally was $66,928, a 9.1% increase over 2020. This was higher than the average annual expenditures for an urban consumer in the south (including San Antonio), which was $61,473. Annual spending for housing in the south (including San Antonio) was $20,244 (32.9% of total spending), lower than the national average of $22,624 (33.8%). Transportation in the south was $11,203 (18.2%), only slightly higher than the national average of $10,961 (16.4%). Spending on food was $7,639 (12.4%), lower than the $8,289 (12.4%) national average. Healthcare amounted to $5,107 (8.3%) in the south and $5,452 (8.1%) nationally, so healthcare costs in San Antonio are about the same as the national average.  

Family Budget Calculator (Economic Policy Institute)

But, how much does it cost your specific family to live in San Antonio? Well, the numbers vary but you can find out some information thanks to The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Family Budget Calculator which measures the income a family needs to maintain an adequate standard of living. The calculator can estimate community-specific costs for 10 family types (one or two adults with zero to four children). 

According to the calculator, the annual costs to live comfortably for a family of 2 adults and 2 children in the San Antonio metro area would be $73,970:

  • Housing: $13,368
  • Food: $8,337
  • Child Care: $12,584
  • Transportation: $13,856
  • Health Care: $12,468
  • Other Necessities: $7,864
  • Taxes: $5,493
  • Annual Total: $73,970

Cost of Household Items, Food, Gas & Groceries in San Antonio

Comparing costs of household items, food, gas, and other common expenses is a good way to see how much the average cost of living in San Antonio is.  Here are some examples of average consumer prices, average San Antonio utilities, and more in San Antonio.

  • Steak Ribeye, 1lb: $17.68
  • Milk Whole 1 Gal: $4.35.
  • Eggs 1 Dozen, Grade A: $3.29
  • Potatoes 3 lb bag: $0.90
  • Bread Wheat, 1 loaf: $3.79
  • Beer Heineken's 6 pack: $8.88
  • Movie Ticket 1st Run: $10.85
  • McDonald's Burger 1/4 Pounder meal: $8.00
  • Average Cell Phone Bill: $125.00
  • Average Cost of Gasoline Per Gal: $3.05 (11/14/22)
  • Average Cost of San Antonio Utilities Per Month: $255 ($328)
  • Average cost of auto insurance: $143 ($196)
  • Health Insurance: $56 ($123)

San Antonio Transportation costs: San Antonio's VIA Metropolitan Transit offers inexpensive bus routes that cost about $1.30 per ride or $2.75 for an unlimited one-day pass. Express buses cost $2.60. A 7-day pass costs $12. 

San Antonio Real Estate Market 

The San Antonio housing market is somewhat competitive, but don’t let that scare you! Homes in San Antonio receive an average of 3 offers and sell in about 27 days. The average price of a home in San Antonio was $280K in October 2022, up 4.2% since last year. The average price of a home per square foot in San Antonio is $166, up 12.2% since last year. The homeownership rate in San Antonio is 54%.

If you’re looking for a single-family home, the demand is high, but San Antonio is still one of the most affordable cities to buy a home in. Homes have appreciated 95.17% in San Antonio over the last ten years, putting San Antonio in the top 20% nationally for real estate appreciation. Compared to other Texas cities, such as Dallas ($445,000), Houston ($330,000), Austin ($594,650), and Fort Worth ($249,900), San Antonio home prices are very affordable.

Homes in San Antonio are selling for 98.2% of list prices, which is a 2% drop over last year.

Should you rent or buy in San Antonio? A good way to figure this out is to look at the price-to-rent ratio, which is calculated by: Median Home Price ÷ Median Annual Rent = Price-to-Rent Ratio. You can use the price-to-rent ratio to determine if it’s better to rent or buy a home in a metro area. The price-to-rent ratio in San Antonio is:

$290,000 ÷ $15,372 = 18.9

Based on the price-to-rent ratio, it’s better to rent than to buy in San Antonio.

San Antonio Home Affordability Calculator

Here are some of the best neighborhoods in San Antonio to buy a home:

Stone Oak is one of the largest neighborhoods in San Antonio with more than two dozen individual subdivisions. The homes are newer than in many neighborhoods in San Antonio, with the average home built in the 1990s. The average home price is $461,000, but you can find homes from the $200,000s up to more than $1 million. Stone Oak has over 30 acres of greenbelt, a community pool, and a Golf Club. Stone Oak has many restaurants, several hospitals, excellent access to healthcare, and highly-ranked schools.

Home prices average $513,900 in Alamo heights, with beautiful tree-lined streets, plenty of historic sites, and stunning properties in styles ranging from Renaissance Revival to Art Deco and more. Alamo Heights is a safe neighborhood where you’ll find many singles, young professionals, families, and retirees. The school district in Alamo Heights is top-notch. 

San Antonio Rental Market – Average Rent in San Antonio

The average rental price in San Antonio is $1,281 a month, much lower than the national average of $1,706.  A few of the most affordable neighborhoods to rent in San Antonio are University Park ($860/month) and Woodlawn Hills ($860/mo). Some of the most expensive neighborhoods in San Antonio are Forest Crest ($1,651) and The Dominion. The most popular neighborhood in San Antonio is Northwest San Antonio ($1,476).

According to the Out of Reach report, which calculates how much you need to earn to afford a modest apartment in your state, working at minimum wage ($7.25/hr), you would have to work 104 hours per week to afford a modest 1 bedroom rental home in San Antonio. Thankfully, most jobs will pay more than the minimum wage. But, this is something to keep in mind to see how much you can afford in San Antonio.

Average Salary & Household Income in San Antonio

Your salary will depend on many factors, but here are some numbers to give you a better idea. The average household income in San Antonio is $53,420. According to Payscale, the average salary is $66,000 a year. Here are some wage details for specific careers:

  • Elementary and Secondary School teachers - $71,200
  • Scientific Research and Development Services - $192,700
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, etc. - $82,590
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services - $105,770
  • Registered Nurse - $85,020

Income, Sales & Property Taxes in San Antonio

Taxes may not be your favorite thing to talk about, but they’re an important consideration when assessing the cost of living in San Antonio! Here is some helpful San Antonio tax information you’ll need. 

Income tax

Good news! The state of Texas has no state income tax and there’s no income tax in San Antonio.

Sales tax

According to Sale-Tax.org, the sales tax rate in San Antonio is 8.250%. This includes a Texas state sales tax of 6.250% and an additional 2.00% sales tax in San Antonio. Texas has the twelfth highest sales tax in the country. 

Property tax

Property taxes in Texas are assessed based on appraisals of all real and business personal properties by local districts. This data is used by the taxing jurisdictions to adopt tax rates to support their fiscal year budgets. So when you buy your dream home, just how much will you be spending?

The City of San Antonio property tax rate consists of Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and Debt Service. For the Fiscal Year 2023, the M&O tax rate is 33.011 cents per $100 of taxable value. The Debt Service tax rate is 21.150 cents per $100 of taxable value. Together, these tax rate components provide for a total tax rate of 54.161 cents per $100 of taxable value.  

San Antonio vs Houston Cost of Living  

Is San Antonio expensive compared to Houston? Houston is 6.3% more expensive than San Antonio, although housing costs are almost the same, only 0.1% less expensive than San Antonio housing costs. Healthcare is also less expensive in Houston, but only 0.6%. Food and groceries are about 6% higher in Houston. Utilities run about 2% higher in Houston, and transportation is much higher at 20%. 

San Antonio vs. Houston cost of living comparisons:

San AntonioHouston
Apartment Rent$1,387.00$1,249.00
Home Price$313,060.00$359,272.00
Total Energy$135.62$176.86
Phone $195.45$193.02
Steak $10.85$11.82
Whole Milk$2.05$1.98
Potatoes $2.42$3.16
Bread $3.42$3.72
Detergent $18.43$17.26

Conclusion

San Antonio is an affordable place to live with a moderate cost of living that is below the national average. It’s one of the least expensive cities in Texas with great neighborhoods and excellent schools. When you're ready to make the move to San Antonio, call Texas Best Moving at 210-764-6683 for a free moving quote!

erik scheetz
Erik Scheetz is founder of Texas Best Moving and Storage. Erik has over 15 years of experience in the moving business and has built Texas Best Moving and Storage with pride and integrity in San Antonio, Texas. He is also a Licensed Real Estate Broker with many years of experience. Texas Best Moving and Storage has strived to offer the best customer service and moving experience for every customer on every move.
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