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The CNC produces journalism on a variety of topics in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties for about a dozen media partners including newspapers, radio and television stations and magazines.

Cities in the Tampa Bay region are among the most expensive places to live

Sarasota with water in the foreground and buildings in the background
Eric Garwood
Community News Collaborative
Sarasota was listed as one of the most expensive Florida cities in which to live.

Bradenton ends up on the most-affordable end of the 29-city list of Florida locations, according to the study.

Four cities in the Tampa Bay area are among the 10 most expensive places to live in Florida, according to a study released this week by Floridarentals.com.

One city, Bradenton, is among the cheapest in the rankings of 29 locations in the Sunshine State.

Tampa, followed by Gainesville, Orlando, Miami and Sarasota, form the top five of most expensive larger cities, based on data reflecting such factors as housing, leisure activities, groceries, clothing, transportation and utility costs. Those costs were weighed against per capita income to form the index, study authors said in a news release.

Hollywood was listed as the cheapest location, followed by Fort Myers, Boca Raton, Bradenton and Melbourne.

The study which relied on U.S. Census and other cost-of-living data, said the average cost of a pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) in Hollywood was $35, and the average price of a one-way fare on public transportation was $2. Study authors said Hollywood’s relatively high personal income, when weighed against local expenses, leading to its ranking.

In Fort Myers, the study found the average utility bill for a 900-square foot apartment was $129.28, the cheapest figure found statewide for a comparable sized living space.

Study authors found an average one-bedroom apartment near downtown Tampa rented for about $2,000 a month.

And while Bradenton ranked toward the more affordable end of the range, home prices remain near historic highs. Median home prices in Manatee County dropped about 2% to $530,000 in the second quarter of 2023, though condominium sales climbed 6.4% to $379,900.

Contact Community News Collaborative editor Eric Garwood at ericgarwood@cncfl.org.

Boats on either side in a marina during sunset
Eric Garwood
Community News Collaborative
The city of Bradenton was among the least expensive Florida cities in which to live.

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