Albuquerque is a beautiful city in the heart of New Mexico and is a part of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas combined statistical area. Albuquerque has a population of 564,559, making it the most populous city in New Mexico and the 32nd-most populous city in the United States. Albuquerque is home to incredible universities, amazing restaurants, and a diverse population.
If you are thinking about moving to Albuquerque, then you may be wondering if you can afford to live in the area. This is everything you should know about the cost of living in Albuquerque as well as typical daily expenses you can expect when living in The Duke City.
Albuquerque Cost of Living Index
What is the cost of living in Albuquerque, New Mexico? The first step to answering this question is to take a look at the Albuquerque, NM Cost of Living Index. The Cost of Living Index, or COLI, compares the cost of goods and services in a city to the national average.
The Albuquerque Cost of Living Index is 93.1. This means that the Albuquerque, NM cost of living is 6.9% more affordable than the national average of 100. The Albuquerque COLI is slightly higher than the state’s COLI, which is 88.4. Groceries, housing, utilities, and health care in Albuquerque are 9.5%, 11.7%, 6.9%, and 4.2% below the national average, respectively. Transportation costs are 0.1% higher than the national average.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Another great way to analyze the cost of living in Albuquerque, NM, is to check out the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index is a report that is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and states the average changes in prices that consumers pay for goods and services in a given area. Albuquerque is part of the South region.
Over the past few months, the Consumer Price Index in Albuquerque is up about 0.2%. Over the past year, it is up 4.4%. In the last two months, the cost of food has risen 0.6%, the cost of housing has risen 0.9%, the cost of transportation is up 2.5%, and the cost of gasoline is up 3.0%. On the other hand, the cost of energy has declined 1.6%, and the cost of medical care has declined 0.4%.
Consumer Expenditure Survey
The cost of living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can also be analyzed through the Consumer Expenditure Survey. This is a survey that is conducted by the Census Bureau and is used to help calculate the CPI. According to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey, Albuquerque households spent an average of $58,682 during the 2020/21 calendar year. This is lower than any other region in the United States and is lower than the national average of $64,187.
Broken down, this is what the average household budget in Albuquerque looks like:
- Housing: 33.5% ($19,062), compared to the U.S. average of $22,046
- Transportation: 17.9% ($10,483), compared to the U.S. average of $10,398
- Food: 12.0% ($7,053), compared to the U.S. average of $7,803
- Health care: 8.7% ($5,103), compared to the U.S. average of $5,316
- Entertainment: 4.7% ($2,763), compared to the U.S. average of $3,256
- Education: 1.8% ($1,051), compared to the U.S. average of $1,249
- Personal care products and services: 1.1% ($623), compared to the U.S. average of $709
As you can see, the Albuquerque, New Mexico cost of living is well below the national average. The only cost that is slightly higher than the national average is transportation. The best way to get around Albuquerque is by car, so residents typically have to spend more on costs for their own personal vehicles.
Family Budget in Albuquerque
Can I afford to live in Albuquerque with my family? According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, the average household with two adults and two kids would have an average Albuquerque cost of living of $75,469 per year. This comes out to about $6,289 per month. Here’s how this budget breaks down monthly:
- Child care: $1,287
- Transportation: $1,182
- Housing: $940
- Health care: $870
- Food: $776
- Taxes: $613
- Other necessities: $622
These numbers will obviously be higher or lower depending on the size of your family, your lifestyle, and the area of Albuquerque you live in. Some neighborhoods in Albuquerque are more expensive than others, and if you have no children, then you will not have to worry about childcare costs. Without children, the average cost of living in Albuquerque drops down to $44,697 per year.
Cost of Household Items, Utilities, Gas & Groceries in Albuquerque NM
How much does it cost to live in Albuquerque, New Mexico? It is important to make sure you can keep up with the Albuquerque cost of living before moving to the area. Here is a listed look at Albuquerque expenses from Numbeo:
- Steak (1lb): $7.49
- Milk (1 gallon): $3.72
- Eggs (1 dozen): $4.23
- Potatoes (5lb): $5.30
- Bread (1 loaf): $2.75
- Beer (1 bottle): $5.00
- Movie ticket: $12.75
- McDonald’s meal: $9.00
- Average cell phone bill: $43.00
- Gas (1 gallon): $3.71
The average cost of utilities in Albuquerque, NM is $174.06. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. The average car insurance payment in Albuquerque is $40 per month. Having a car in Albuquerque is preferable, but you can also choose to use the ABQ Ride system. Through September 30, 2023, these electric buses are free for all passengers and generally run from 5:30AM to 6PM every day.
Albuquerque Real Estate Market
Are you on the hunt for Albuquerque homes for sale? The Albuquerque housing market is very competitive. On average, Albuquerque real estate sits on the market for about 17 days. The average home price in Albuquerque is $336,000. This is much lower than the national average of $419,103. Albuquerque, NM real estate prices are up 3.4% from last year.
Of course, the price of Albuquerque, New Mexico real estate will fluctuate based on where you are living and the size of the house you are buying. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Albuquerque include West Old Town (average home price of $361,000), Taylor Ranch (average home price of $360,000), Tanoan East (average home price of $738,000), and Downtown (average home price of (399,000).
There are 256,814 housing units in Albuquerque. 61% of the units are owner occupied, and 39% are renter occupied.
Albuquerque Rental Market – Average Rent in Albuquerque
Looking for apartments for rent in Albuquerque? The average rent in Albuquerque, NM is $1,281 for an 814 square-foot apartment. This is lower than other nearby cities, such as Santa Fe ($1,694), Los Alamos ($1,398), and Rio Rancho ($1,380).
Some of the most affordable neighborhoods in Albuquerque include Elder Homestead, Fair West, and Highland Business, where the average rent is $929 per month. The most expensive neighborhoods in Albuquerque are West La Cueva, West Vumoor, and Wildflower, where the average rent is $1,874 per month.
According to the 2022 Rental Affordability Report, it is more affordable to buy than to rent in Albuquerque. One of the best ways to compare renting vs. buying in Albuquerque is to calculate the price-to-rent ratio. The higher the ratio is, the better it is for renters. The lower the ratio, the better it is for buyers. The calculation for the price-to-rent ratio is the median home price divided by the median annual rent.
Let’s plug Albuquerque’s numbers into the equation. The Albuquerque average home price is $336,000, and the yearly Albuquerque rent is $15,372. After plugging these numbers into the equation, you get a price-to-rent ratio of 21.85. This is a lower price-to-rent ratio, and therefore it is better to buy a home in Albuquerque rather than to rent one.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach Report, an average worker in Albuquerque would have to earn $22.00 per hour ($45,760 per year) to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment in the city without spending over 30% of their yearly income on housing. This is slightly higher than the New Mexico average of $19.88 per hour ($41,349 per year).
Average Salary & Household Income in Albuquerque
The median household income in Albuquerque is $56,366, which is higher than the New Mexico average of $54,020. According to PayScale, the average salary in Albuquerque is $70,000 per year or $18.52 per hour. The average salary and average income in Albuquerque are on the higher end compared to the rest of the country, especially given the low cost of living in the city. The minimum wage in New Mexico just recently increased from $11.50 to $12.00.
If you are on the hunt for jobs in Albuquerque, then there are many options to choose from. Some of the top industries in Albuquerque are technology, science, and medicine. The largest employers in Albuquerque include Kirtland Air Force Base, the University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories.
These are a few of the most common occupations in Albuquerque as well as their average salaries:
- Security guard: $31,960
- Travel agent: $44,280
- Real estate manager: $57,090
- Technical writer: $78,140
- Registered nurse: $87,240
- Financial manager: $123,630
- Dentist: $193,220
- Physician: $269,380
Income, Sales & Property Taxes in Albuquerque
New Mexico income tax
Income tax is the tax that is levied on your individual or business-related income. The New Mexico income tax rate ranges from 1.70% to 5.90%. The state uses a graduated-rate table to determine income tax, meaning it fluctuates based on income levels and marital status.
Sales tax in Albuquerque
Sales tax in Albuquerque, NM is a consumption tax on the sale of goods and services. The Albuquerque, NM sales tax rate is 7.8750%. This is how that number is reached:
- New Mexico state: 5.1250%
- Bernalillo County: 1.31125%
- Albuquerque: 1.4345%
- Total: 7.8750%
New Mexico has the 15th highest sales tax rate in the United States.
Albuquerque property tax
Albuquerque property taxes are assessed by the Bernalillo County Assessor and set by the County Commission. On average, the Albuquerque property tax rate is 0.81% of a property’s assessed fair market value. This means that if your home is worth $188,000, you would pay $1,530 in property taxes for the year.
Albuquerque vs. Santa Fe Cost of Living
If you are thinking about calling New Mexico home, then you may also be considering moving to Santa Fe. It is 64.1 miles from Santa Fe, NM to Albuquerque, NM, and both cities offer incredible benefits. The Cost of Living Index in Santa Fe is 114. This means that the cost of living in Santa Fe is 14% more expensive than the national average and 20.9% more expensive than in Albuquerque.
Here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in Albuquerque vs. Santa Fe.
- Average home price: $336,000 in Albuquerque vs. $535,000 in Santa Fe.
- Average salary: $70,000 in Albuquerque vs. $62,000 in Santa Fe
- Average utilities: $174.06 in Albuquerque vs. $228.00 in Santa Fe
- Average monthly expenses: $6,289 in Albuquerque vs. $6,768 in Santa Fe
As you can see, it is more affordable to live in Albuquerque than in Santa Fe. It is also important to note that the average salary is also lower in Albuquerque, so you will likely be able to save more money when living in the area!
Overall, Albuquerque is a very affordable place to live. The Albuquerque living expenses are extremely fair, and the Albuquerque real estate market is booming! If you are ready to move to Albuquerque, then let Pro-Move Logistics help! Call our experienced Albuquerque movers today at 505-471-3434 to request a free quote!