Home Maintenance Inflation Is Real

Buying a home is a milestone, but after the moving truck leaves you still have to take care of it — roofs leak, paint peels, appliances break. Unfortunately for homeowners, the cost of maintenance is going up.

A new report by Thumbtack — an online platform that connects homeowners to handymen, contractors and other home professionals — examined the cost of more than 100,000 maintenance jobs in the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan markets. The costs were reported directly by consumers or service professionals and were limited in the study to maintenance work, such as repairs to appliances and HVAC systems, landscaping and window washing.

Nationally, the average annual maintenance cost of single-family homes during the first quarter of 2023 was $6,409, up about 9 percent year over year. Townhouse costs rose about 4 percent and condo costs rose less than 2 percent.

For single-family homes, costs fell in only seven of the 40 metros; New York City, for one, saw the annual cost fall 5 percent over a year, to $7,351, while in Portland, Ore., it fell about 12 percent, to $7,334. Even still, the two metros ranked as the fifth and sixth most expensive places to maintain a home. Price drops near the other end of the spectrum were found in Columbus, Ohio, where the annual maintenance cost fell 16 percent, to $4,783, and in Greenville, S.C., where it fell 10 percent, to $5,353.

In other locales, including Florida, where extreme weather often inflates maintenance budgets, costs rose significantly. Orlando saw a 32 percent spike, to $5,422, while Miami saw a 39 percent spike, to $6,988.

This week’s chart shows the 15 U.S. metros with the highest and lowest annual maintenance costs and how the costs changed over a year.

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