livin' la vida soco
All Austinites have probably wondered about this at one point or another – just how expensive is it to live on South Congress, one of the busiest areas in the city? Apparently, it only takes an annual salary of just under $70,000 to live comfortably on the iconic street, according to a new analysis by international design magazine Architectural Digest.
AD's 2023 edition of "The Cost of Living in America’s Trendiest Neighborhoods," published October 2, examined 52 neighborhoods in the 100 most populated American cities, and shared data on the top 14 trendiest.
According to the report, South Congress ranked No. 13 on the list, with a resident needing to make an annual salary of $69,520. Using the 30 percent rule, a resident could comfortably afford a monthly rent cost of $1,738. The report further estimates a resident could easily spend $223 per week on their social expenses, or 16 percent of their monthly income.
The "weekly social cost" accounts for one person spending two nights out for a live show and museum or gallery event ($22 for the live show, and $5 for the museum or gallery event); eating out for dinner five times a week ($31.05 per meal), purchasing two alcoholic beverages per week ($8.60 per drink), and regularly grabbing a latte at their local coffee shop five times a week ($4.70 per latte).
Whoever that might be, they must be very busy.
The report's author explains residents wouldn't need to own a car to live in the surrounding neighborhood (much to our skepticism) thanks to the many local offerings within the shopping district.
"Full of coffee shops, top-notch restaurants, trendy cocktail bars, and live music venues, SoCo is a popular place to live in America’s fastest-growing metro," the report says. "It’s also nationally known for its 'eclectic retail offerings' and the legendary Continental Club music venue."
While South Congress landed No. 13 on the list, it was the New York neighborhood of Williamsburg that earned the No. 1 spot, with locals needing to surpass Austinites by more than $100,000 to live comfortably in the area. However, even with a $170,000 annual salary, the weekly social cost of living in Williamsburg is only estimated at $251 per week, which is not much more than South Congress. The regular outings ultimately take up around 19 percent of a resident's monthly income.
For individuals living in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, Florida (No. 7), a social life would cost 31 percent of their monthly income, assuming an annual salary of $97,200 a year. Monthly rent in Wynwood is much higher than South Congress, at $2,430 a month.
Architectural Digest's trendiest neighborhoods in America and the salaries needed to live there are:
- No. 1 – Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York ($170,000)
- No. 2 – South End in Boston, Massachusetts (163,920)
- No. 3 – Greenwich Village in New York City, New York ($160,000)
- No. 4 – Mission District in San Francisco, California ($155,320)
- No. 5 – Venice in Los Angeles, California ($140,000)
- No. 6 – Logan Circle in Washington, D.C. ($107,000)
- No. 7 – Wynwood in Miami, Florida ($97,200)
- No. 8 – Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California ($96,000)
- No. 9 – West Loop in Chicago, Illinois ($95,160)
- No. 10 – Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington ($77,160)
- No. 11 – River North Arts District in Denver, Colorado ($76,600)
- No. 12 – Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, Georgia ($70,7560)
- No. 13 – South Congress in Austin, Texas ($69,520)
- No. 14 – Fishtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ($59,800)
The full report and its methodology can be found on architecturaldigest.com.
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